Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Humble Spirit

This made me smile ....
Excerpted from

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 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.

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 hereI 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 fireplace.

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 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. 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


  1. I really enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing. May we all shine... without shining others.

  2. this is so beautiful. I also really enjoyed reading this. We can all shine....and thank you for your comment to me. You really make a difference. :)

  3. I can't agree more - good piece. It's so true sometimes we worry so much about others shining -we forget we can choose to shine ourself!


  4. This is a great post! I love it!


  5. Good Morning Sweet Friend...
    Oh how lovely this write is today. I so enjoyed this letter both to and from the college of her sweet heart. Imagine her face when she read she was accepted, and then the reason why. God put one follower in there and gave her many choices to follow. I love it.

    Yes Myra sweetie this one made me smile. Thank you so much. Yes we can all shine, even someone like me, with no voice. I too can shine. Thank you sweetie, oh thank you.

    Many hugs and SO much love, Sherry

  6. I absolutely love this!! This is a wonderful story with a wonderful and needed message. Thank you my friend.

  7. Such a beautiful message. I am about to read Andrew Murray's book on humility so this is a great start. Oh, that we could all be as humble as Jesus. Thanks for sharing these stories. So good.

  8. A beautiful teaching about humility! I especially like the example of Washington! Have a great weekend.

  9. That, was a darn good post~one well worth reading. We always need to learn a new lesson.

  10. Great post... wonderful lesson on humility.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Great example of how to be and how not to be.
    I am going to copy this story because I am sure not to remember it correctly.
    I am so glad you posted this.

  12. This is we know why Booker T. Washington became such a great man to be remembered....Lovely post.

  13. Great post! It's like the old saying, "Everyone wants to be the Chief and no one wants to be the Indian. In my lifetime I've been the Chief and I've been the Indian. I much prefer to be the Indian. :-)

  14. Lovely stories, read them out loud to my hubby. Thanks for sharing.

  15. What a wonderful lesson the professor taught that day. I've always been more of a follower than a leader. I've often wished I was a leader, but this is just who I am and I have accepted it. I'm almost 74 years old. I guess I might as well accept it. Doesn't look like I'm going to change. LOL

  16. What a wonderful way to live. If we all could be like that just a bit.
    Thank-you for sharing these stories.

  17. I enjoyed both of the stories you shared today. Humility is such a lost art in many circles today. Thanks for the reminder.blessings, Debbie

  18. This is an incredible story about Booker T. Washington. Gives us reason to pause and truly think about the meaning of humility. Thank you so much for this great post.

  19. Hey there my sweet firend. I loved your latest post for many reasons. First of all I think it is so important to learn first aid and have up to date cpr training. And I loved this one because my son, Jake was thought and accused by many during his life as being a "follower" as if that were an undesirable thing and lo and behold since his death we are all in awe of what a leader he actually was! So the college story was a good one. And I loved the comment you made today when visiting me about the Glamour Shots. Oh fun would that be. You get it going with your thoughts and we'll see if it will take off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Loved the story about Professor Washington - we all could use more humility in this life.


  21. What a great post with a great message in it! Thanks for sharing it with us.



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