Being Humble

Ted had an amazing career.  He was an author of 60 books.  His books are perhaps the most read books of any author.  Generation after generation have enjoyed them since their message never ages.  They have been translated into 20 languages and sold over 600 million copies.

He was an artist.  His works of art appear in museums along with the works of the world’s great artists.

He won an Emmy award for cartoons he created.  He was also the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his lifetime achievements in publishing.  His image and those of the characters he created have been featured on a U.S. postage stamp.  He also won an Oscar for a documentary and another one for a cartoon.

But for all of his accomplishments, Ted (better known as Dr. Seuss) was a very quiet and humble man.  He was afraid that he would disappoint his fans if they were to meet him.  He was afraid of large gatherings and hated publicity.

Dr. Seuss didn’t need to brag about his achievements.  The awards didn’t matter.  What mattered to him was exciting young readers.  He was at peace with himself.

Humble persons are generally considered to be outstanding leaders because they listen to others.  They are very observant, they are not easily offended, and are quick to forgive.  They ask for help and acknowledge they are not experts at everything.  They treat others with respect and recognize their own limitations.  They lead quiet lives.

Humble persons have quiet confidence that others find comforting and inspiring.  They can be charismatic by virtue of their deeds, but not by self-promotion.  They are great at bringing out the best in others.  While they may be very shy, when they get to know someone, that relationship is long lasting and transformational.

Humble persons are not motivated by awards or public recognition.  They don’t need praise to sustain them.  They enjoy seeing their work being helpful to others.  They love facilitating greatness in others.

It’s interesting to reflect on how our society would be different if we embraced the humble leaders among us.  Could we ever return to a society where genuine caring that is the trait of being humble might replace us vs. them fear mongering?  One could only hope.

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“I was born and have ever remained in the most humble walks of life.”  -Abraham Lincoln

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