In my life, I have been fortunate to know and learn from exceptional leaders. With the exceptionally good leaders, unfortunately, were also the exceptionally bad. There is an attribute of character, which the good had in abundance, but the bad always lacked. Humility. Inevitably, the bad leaders replaced humility with arrogance.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8 (NIV)
The bad leaders would always feint humility in the presence of their superiors or toward anyone with whom they feared or whose favor they sought. With those to whom they felt superior, their arrogance always manifested itself in condescension and mockery. Some of history’s worst leaders were those lacking humbleness. Some of today’s worst, Ahmadinejad and Chavez come to mind, sorely lack humility.
It is like the football player that spends a lot of time dancing in the end zone. He is rarely the champion. Great leaders and great champions are humble. When they get into the end zone, they act like they have been there before. They do not flaunt their momentary victory in the faces of their opponents. They realize that if they do that, it will only make their opponents more determined to defeat them.
When you view leaders with humility in mind, what can you make of one who allows himself to be photographed while wagging his fingers at historical friends and then practically prostrating himself before dictators and tyrants? Besides the prostrating, he also pretends humbleness by apologizing for America to the same dictators and tyrants.
It is one thing when a leader feels it necessary to apologize for the country he leads, but it is quite another when he resorts to condescension and mockery to address the citizens of his country who disagree with him. When someone does this, he is not walking humbly. He is not demonstrating a love for America or Americans. He cannot successfully lead what he does not hold deep affection for. No one can.
There is an interesting thing about those bad leaders. If they cannot find their way to humility, life has a way of humbling them. Ask Richard Nixon. Ask Tiger Woods. Wealthy celebrities frequently crash and burn. Some find some humility at the bottom of their falls and make it back to prominence. Others simply cannot get far enough beyond their self-admiration to admit that they might be just a little less than perfect.
As the Bible verse states, God has shown us what is good. The United States of America is good. We turned good into greatness by being a humble nation. If being humble was not a national character trait, then every day we would remind every nation on the planet of all it is that we have done and continue to do for them.
He has also shown each man what is good. Some of us He has entrusted with little and some He has entrusted with much. Unless we walk humbly, what we have been shown that is good will never be great. We will lose what has been entrusted to us. We will lose the last best hope for men. The great guardian of God given freedom. The United States of America. Greatness will leave a country that does not have humility at its core.
Greatness will never come to someone who has never learned to walk humbly. There may be fleeting fame, but to truly be great one must endear himself to all of the led and not just those who live to shower him with compliments.
Walk humbly Mr. President.