Humility – Character in Action

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16th March, 2023

Sam Rayburn served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the United States Congress for seventeen years.  As the Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn wielded incredible power and prestige. He was third in the line of succession to the presidency.

One day, he found out that the teenage daughter of a reporter friend had tragically died. Early the next morning, Sam Rayburn knocked on the door of his friend.  When the door opened, Rayburn asked if there was anything he could do.  His friend stammered and replied, “I don’t think there is anything you can do. We are making all the arrangements.”

“Well, have you had your coffee this morning?” Rayburn asked.

“No. We haven’t had time.” said the grieving man.

“Well,” the Speaker of the House replied, “I can at least make the coffee.”

As he watched this powerful man make him coffee, the father suddenly remembered something. “Mr. Speaker, I thought you were supposed to be having breakfast at the White House this morning.”

“Well I was, but I called the President and told him I had a friend who was in trouble, and I couldn’t come.”

Sam Rayburn turned down breakfast with the President of the United States to make coffee for a grieving friend. Great Humility can be exercised by people of great power.

The bottom line is what type of information are we absorbing?

Do we read fiery political stories that already support our own views?

Do we watch shows or read magazines that gossip about celebrities? 

Or do we feed our brains with stories about character in action?

What we marinate our brains in, affects who we become and how we develop our character.

Our character starts with our thoughts.

Our thoughts shape our words.

Our words influence our actions.

Our actions, repeated over time, become our habits.

Habits form our character.

We can all use Sam Rayburn’s exercise of great Humility to shape our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

Each time we make a choice (i.e. take action) it makes it easier to make that same choice again.

That is how we develop habits, and our habits form our character.

Be humble always & stay blessed forever.