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Monday, July 18, 2011

Humility is not thinking less of yourself







Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. Rick Warren

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 his date.

"Really?" she said. "And just how many women are you intending to marry?" (Maybe you knew guys like that.)

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 form 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 that it is imperative that they have at least one follower."

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.

There is a story about the great 19th century African American educator Booker T Washington that exemplified the power of a simple and modest spirit.

It is told that one 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 recognise 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 axe 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 fireplace.

He had scarcely left when a servant said to the woman, "I guess you didn't recognise him, ma'am, but that was Professor
Washington!"

Embarassed and ashamed, the woman hurried over to Tuskegee Institute to apologise.

The great educator respectfully replied: "There's no need to apologise, madam. I'm delighted to do favours for my friends."

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. It was also 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.

"Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves." Henry Ward Beecher
Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You

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