Walking the High Road
“Those who walk the high road of humility are not bothered by heavy traffic.” ~Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson
I will admit to having watched former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral last Wednesday. I found it a moving tribute to a man to whom the notion of public service meant serving; he was the last elected President who served in the armed forces during WWII.
Words like “decency” and “noble” and “integrity” and “service” were used repeatedly by the friends and family who eulogized him, along with “family” and “friends” and “loyalty.”
I was particularly struck by the line above that his friend, Alan Simpson, uttered during his remarks, greeted by resounding laughter: in Washington, D.C. humility is a rare ingredient.
Bush was renowned for his humble, caring spirit. He walked the talk of humility by shouldering blame and sharing praise, making “I” statements in the face of criticism and “we” statements in response to accolades.
“He liked the light to shine on others,” said his son, former 43rd President George W. “He valued character over pedigree.”
I would add, “and over position or power.” Humility enables one to see through their veneer.
He wanted to leave the world a kinder, gentler place, and his life and legacy reflect that due north of his personal compass.
A little more humility in a lot more of our leaders might speed up the process.
Humility is the path to the high road, but you need a working compass to find it.