Can you name a humble politician?
These days, I find that rather hard to do. I find it easier to name politicians who are arrogant – the opposite of humility.
But I can name a humble politician from history: United States President George Washington.
Washington served two terms as President. His supporters urged him to run for a third term. Washington declined.
On September 19, 1796, Washington published a letter addressed to “The People of the United States of America,” which has become known as Washington’s “Farewell Address.” Here is what Washington said about himself in conclusion:
“Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.” *
Wow, talk about humility!
Humility is a cardinal virtue of a servant-leader.** George Washington exhibited humility in an exemplary way. ***
What do you think? Do you find that humility becoming rare among politicians these days?
Let us know.
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* Here is the full text of Washington’s Farewell Address.
** More on humility: “4 Reasons Humility is a Cardinal Virtue of Servant Leadership” and “15 Great Quotes About Humility.”
*** Our post last week featured a story about George Washington. Check out “Servant-Leaders Lift Trees.”