It's for this reason that I am humbled and awed when I interact with someone who embodies truest humility without meaning to.
My dad has been a devout and practicing Hindu for his entire life. I'd wake up as an angsty middle-schooler and high-schooler to the sound of his meditational ocean breaths (which I now know as pranayama) in our "God room." He commits to prayer each morning, and is the only person I know who is literate and fluid in Sanskrit. Before acknowledging anyone, his first step is to open the east-facing door of our home and greet the rising sun.
I, on the other hand, have spent years catching myself checking morning text messages with my eyes half-closed even though I know better. My morning practice for the larger part of my adolescence and adulthood has involved racing out the door to catch the [fill in the blank: bus, train, plane, ride] without a moment to appreciate the miracle of dawn.
When I moved to New York a few years ago, I began to practice yoga at first so I could look good in a swimsuit (unfortunately for us South Asians, a fleshy stomach is just one of those things we'll have to accept and somehow call a gift). But in one class early in my experience, we began with the ujjayi ocean breath. In it, I heard my father. Over time, I'm slowly coming to understand.
I recently completed a yoga teacher training program. Still a novice in all aspects. But over the holiday break, my dad approached me one morning. "What is a beneficial kind of pranayama for me to practice? Please teach me," he said. My dad, asking to learn from his kid without a wince. Didn't even cross his mind to feel differently.
Sure, he's got his imperfections. Far more than a subtle amount of "selfies" on his camera. But his unintentional humility is the very purest kind. It is humility itself.