A concept with resonance that evokes a lasting image.
Especially, when connected to purpose.
In many respects, ” mass” is illustrative of purpose.
The aggregate weight, influence and longevity of a life filled with specific thoughts, words and deeds.
Thunk, spoke and did in certain moments.
Guided by the qualities and traits that ultimately made all of the choices.
Like character, courage, perseverance.
And of course humility.
A most powerful trait.
Perhaps THE most powerful one of all.
A quality that goes a long way towards addressing intrinsic self-worth, while providing the essential and true context of things in terms of ourselves – and – others.
While it may seem odd to consider humility in this fashion, it does possess an almost physical quality of its own.
“A clear perspective and respect for one’s place in context.”
Dare I say, of the earth.
Matter with a texture all its own.
To paraphrase #52, a red-shirt in Madison here on the left;
“I just cannot believe how blessed I am to be where I am today. I am getting a great education, coaching and I get to practice against an All American center every day. I have to pinch myself to make sure it isn’t just a dream”.
A genuine sense of gratitude for where his choices, efforts and commitments have taken him.
Surpassed only by the awe of finding himself where he is at this very moment.
It is within that level of gratitude where humility amasses its gravity.
The force which attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or to any other physical body having mass.
Apply the same committed effort this Eagle made to become a Badger.
Allow yourself to fall to earth and become a well grounded being.
For in that one endeavor, you can create an attraction that is as powerful as it is lasting.
A force truly born of purpose.
And for those that choose to move towards it, and wield it, it will grow into a capacity to produce life altering change and growth.
Humility is a higher and ethical sense.
It is that by which a man has a modest estimate of his own worth, and submits himself to others.
CS Lewis – in his famous phrase asserted that, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
In an honest recognition of the virtues and talents that others possess. Particularly those that surpass one’s own.
And then giving them their due honor and, when required, obedience.
Recognizing the limits of one’s talents, ability, or authority is not defeat.
It is simply not reaching for what is beyond one’s grasp.
In this moment.
Just not now.
Humility is an appreciation of oneself, one’s talents, skills, and virtues.
It is not meekness or self-deprecating thought, but the effacing of oneself to something higher.
Humility is not to think lowly of oneself, but to truly appreciate the self one has received.
So being grounded should never be taken to mean you can never be raised up.
Rather, it is a recognition of the mysteries and complexities of life.
That one becomes humbled to the awesomeness one is and what one can achieve.
Rabbi Pini Dunner suggested that humility is to place others first.
Something to be prized and valued.
So it is incumbent on us to take great care in what we do with it.
For all of this “matter” – matters.
As such, humility is a trait that is multi-dimensional and presupposes self-understanding and awareness.
And a rightly guided sense of perspective.
Qualities that can enhance leadership.
For as Mr. Emerson once offered, “A great man is always willing to be little.”
A thought generated by a keen appreciation for the essential nature of our stature.
A trait governed not so much by area.
But more so where you place yourself in the big picture.