The Winsomeness of Humility

About two weeks ago I received an email from Growing Leaders that talked about one quality that Boomers and Millennials must develop. This blog post is not about either Millennials or Boomers or the differences between the two.

( ( However, if you haven’t seen You’ve Gotta Love Millenials you must take three minutes to watch it. ) )

Back to the original topic . . .

In the article this one phrase kind of jumped out at me: Attitudes speak louder than words. . . don’t underestimate the winsomeness of humility.

Winsomeness is defined as sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging.

There is something charming, winning and engaging about a person who demonstrates humility.

We see a lot of acts that don’t demonstrate humility: athletes that draw attention to themselves after making a big play, artists who strive to keep the spotlight on themselves, public figures who make it a habit of keeping their faces on camera. We can probably all think of a time when we were turned off by arrogant behavior – a lack of humility.

We might also be able to bring to mind a time when we were attracted to humility. Someone did something solely for the benefit of someone else and stayed out of the limelight. It could be as simple as paying for meal of the person behind you in the drive-thru line or leaving a circle of friends at lunch time to sit with someone who was eating alone.

There is something attractive, beautiful, even winsome about humility.

In his book Chase the Lion Mark Batterson shares this story of Booker T. Washington.

Washington was in Iowa and had spent the day speaking to packed rooms at four different gatherings. He was the keynote speaker, the center of attention, the one everyone in town came to see.

While in the hotel lobby where he was staying, Washington was mistaken for one of the hotel staff. A woman asked him for a glass of water. His response: he got her a drink and then asked, “Is there anything else I can get for you?”

What a great example of the winsomeness of humility.

I don’t know if the woman in the hotel lobby that day was ever told who it was that got her that glass of water. But it seems that Booker T. Washington didn’t care.

In the Growing Leaders article, this advice was given: Ask questions. Listen well. Develop a hungry mind. Talk about others more than yourself. Seek out good books and mentors. Show me you’re good, don’t tell me.

Imagine how our schools, churches and workplaces would change if we all followed that advice and sought to demonstrate humility.

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