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Humility vs. Credibility


One of the attributes of conscience is a concern with others rather than self, so my family always looked upon the pride of arrogance as one of the greater sins, and humility as one of the best virtues. However, in the realm of ideas, defense of their substance is required and that normally comes from their origin which should reduce concerns of naivety. On one occasion, I suggested to a man who was introducing me for a speech that he minimize the introduction and hopefully the words would speak for themselves. "That is fine for you to say, but I invited you and if it doesn't go over well I need some cover." For that reason, I have included two perspectives on my background, one by former syndicated columnist Scott Bennett which reflects his observations over three decades. And the second is the more formal format used by the International Who's Who of Professionals when they prepared one for use with Brenham Bancshares, Inc. It has been updated in several sections to be more current. The third item is a Concurrent Resolution that hopefully speaks to purpose for which any efforts were directed. My Father taught me to never take myself too seriously. He told me to always remember those moments of humility such as the time he, while Sheriff, was called to settle a fight. The problem was a drunken 300-pound gentleman who was rather mean tempered and threatening. Dad was 240, 6’3” and a superb athlete who had learned martial arts in World War II. As he told me, “The sin vanity got me, I thought if I could subdue him man to man it would help my image for the future. He was pretty drunk and slow and I didn’t want to use my blackjack.” (Which was his flashlight.) So, Dad walked up and told him he was under arrest. He swung as expected, Dad ducked and said he hit him as hard as he had ever hit anyone. The man was a little stunned, but Dad had broken his wrist and ran around, rather embarrassingly, kicking and rabbit punching him with his left hand.

My most memorable time of humility (among many) was locking my fingers on my right hand in the door of my wife’s car with the door automatically locking, and the keys being in my right pocket. Without assistance, this requires taking off ones trousers to get the key with the left hand, while giving concern to your fingers and saying a private prayer of thanks that this was in the garage and not in a parking lot.

But most importantly, Dad taught to take men with a grain of salt. He cared little what others thought of him as long as he did the right thing and God knew. Those that came to your funeral are usually those that know you. Resumes matter little at that point in the flow of time, and their views will usually be of your character and what you did with your time. What real change have you made?

Ideas are the most unique creation of man because they last beyond the lives of men, monuments and civilizations. They re-emerge as Aristotle did from the Greeks through the Moors to Europe again. The ideas and the manuscripts that hold them are built upon by each succeeding race and remind men that they have much in common with the hearts and minds of men century’s dead. If such is the perspective, one realizes that temporary accomplishments are false achievements in the overall scope of time, but that it is worthwhile to run risks in life if you can positively affect the development of thought. For all the Presidents, Generals, and Emperors – have any had the affect on the world of Christ, Confucius, Buddha or Mohammed? While no man can reach their impact, each of us can help develop the ideas that move civilizations further from darkness to greater light.

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