What people come to mind when you think about humility?
How about former Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, Joe Louis?
No? This true story from John Dickson’s book Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership will change your mind:
Three young men hopped on a bus in Detroit in the 1930s and tried to pick a fight with a lone man sitting at the back of the vehicle. They insulted him. He didn’t respond. They turned up the heat of the insults. He said nothing. Eventually, the stranger stood up.
He was bigger than they had estimated from his seated position — much bigger. He reached into his pocket, handed them his business card and walked off the bus and then on his way. As the bus drove on the young men gathered around the card to read the words: Joe Louis. Boxer. They had just tried to pick a fight with the man who would be Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World from 1937 to 1949, the number one boxer of all time, according to the International Boxing Research Organization (second on the list is Muhammad Ali).
Here is a man of immense power and skill, capable of defending his honour with a single, devastating blow. Yet, he chooses to forgo his status and hold his power for others — in this case, for some very fortunate young men…
Now, I’ll admit I was surprised by some of Dickson’s ideas in Humilitas. But the more I read, the more Dickson demonstrated that his case makes good logical & biblical sense.