A Humble Spirit
In his own eyes, Mike was the most popular guy around. "A lot of
women are gonna be totally miserable when I marry," he boasted to
"Really?" she said. "And just how many women are you intending to
marry?" (Maybe you knew that guy.)
But I like the story of a young woman who wanted to go to college.
Her heart sank, however, when she read the question on the admission
form that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and
conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application,
expecting the worst.
To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear
applicant: A study of the admission forms reveals that this year our
school will enroll 1,452 new leaders. We would like to accept you
because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one
Sometimes a little bit of humble pie goes well with a rich meal.
Actually, what passes for conceit in many people is often just a
plea for attention. A poor sense of self may cause one to want to be
the prominent star in every constellation. Humility, on the other
hand, does not require that one shine less brightly than others,
simply that all be given opportunity to shine.
That great 19th Century African American educator Booker T.
Washington exemplified the power of a simple and modest spirit. A
story is told of a day when Washington, then a professor at Tuskegee
Institute in Alabama, happened to pass the mansion of a wealthy
woman as he walked to work.
The woman did not recognize him and called out, "Hey you! Come here!
I need some wood chopped!" She was a product of her southern
post-Civil War culture and simply perceived him as a black man who
was there to do her bidding.
Without a word, Dr. Washington peeled off his jacket, picked up the
ax and went to work. He not only cut a large pile of wood, he also
carried the firewood into the house and arranged it neatly by the
He had scarcely left when a servant said to the woman, "I guess you
didn't recognize him, ma'am, but that was Professor Washington!"
Embarrassed and ashamed, the woman hurried over to Tuskegee
Institute to apologize. The great educator respectfully replied:
"There's no need to apologize, madam. I'm delighted to do favors for
The professor may have taught one of his greatest lessons that day.
It was a lesson about astronomy: he taught that every star can shine
without one out-shining all the others. It was a lesson about peace:
he taught how self-interest must often be set aside for the good of
the whole. And it was a lesson about spirituality: he taught about
the power of a meek and humble spirit in a world where aggression is
too-often confused with strength.
It is a lesson we are still learning.
~ Steve Goodier ~
[ by: Steve Goodier -- Copyright © 2010 -- from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) ]
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