August 5, 2013
Alex Haley, author of the book Roots, had a picture in his office of a turtle sitting on top of a fence post. When you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know that he didn't get there by himself; he had to have some help.
That's why Haley kept the picture in his office. He said, "Anytime I start thinking, 'Wow. Isn't it marvelous what I have done?' I look at that picture and remember how this turtle—me—got up on that post."
Humble people don't kid themselves about who deserves the credit for the good things that happen in their life. Humility says, "I don't deserve all the credit. I don't deserve all the glory. I didn't get here on my own; God helped me become what I am."
Humble people also accept the fact that they often won't get the credit they do deserve. The good that most people do goes by unnoticed. It happens to just about everyone: Teachers, customer service reps, police officers, firefighters, auto mechanics, medical personnel — rarely do they get the credit they deserve.
Neither, probably, do you. If you do what you do for the purpose of receiving recognition, you'll probably be frustrated most of the time.
Remember Underdog? Underdog was a cartoon superhero who frequently saved the world from certain doom at the hands of his arch-villain, Simon Bar-Sinister.
When he wasn't saving the world, he was a lowly shoeshine boy. At the beginning of every episode you saw him shining shoes. The customer would give him a nickel and say something like, "Thank you shoeshine boy. You're humble and lovable." Then Underdog would bite the nickel. (You see, he was humble, but he wasn't about to accept any wooden nickels.)
What made him humble? Even though he was a superhero, he didn't care if people thought he was only a shoeshine boy. In other words, he didn't care who got the credit. He wasn't after his own glory. The job itself was more important to him than the accolades that came with it.
Humble people are more inclined to focus on the value in their work and in others than they are to focus on themselves.
This is the example Paul gave us to follow: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
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