“The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual – for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost.”
M. Scott Peck
A groundswell begins with one. Individual effort does make a difference – even in this complex, perilously divided world. It starts with a humble heart that longs for peace and hope. May we walk with courage and humility…our voices joining others of like-minded spirit.
“We have to stop and be humble enough to understand that there is something called mystery.”
The greatest gift given to humanity – the desire to know, to seek, to understand…
Arrogance knows everything. Yet, if there is no mystery, we have nothing.
“I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.”
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. On the date of his release, February 11, 1990, he declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation. He had travelled a long road to freedom…
I confess that I am not a sports fan of note, but when I was given this quote several years ago, I had to find out more about John Madden.
John Madden is well-known to American football fans. He was a football hero in high school before playing college football at Oregon and the College of San Mateo before transferring to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He was a rising star. In 1958, a knee injury in training camp ended all his chances to play professionally. Most would consider this a disastrous end to a promising career. John Madden persevered to become a Super Bowl-winning head coach and a beloved sports commentator in later years. In 2006, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career.
“Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”
“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
John William Gardner
John William Gardner was born in Los Angels, California in 1912 when the West was still considered the Frontier. His father died when he was only one year old; from that moment on his mother became his mentor and his strongest supporter. In 1929, John Gardner entered Stanford and gained a solid reputation through hard work. At that time, he met Aida Marroquin, a Guatemalan woman, who would change his destiny. He loved her deeply, even learning fluent Spanish to be able to effectively communicate with her. They married in 1934. His Spanish would hold him in good stead during the war years. It was in those early years his desire to nurture human potential had its roots. Over the years, this aspiration would become an obsession for him. He worked tirelessly to effect changes in health and education. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 and the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 1966. John William Gardner knew how to build the infrastructure to cultivate and ready a new generation to take their place on the world stage. He saw the future that we are living in…
“We don’t even know what skills may be needed in the years ahead. That is why we must train our young people in the fundamental fields of knowledge, and equip them to understand and cope with change. That is why we must give them the critical qualities of mind and durable qualities of character than will serve them in circumstances we cannot now even predict.”
John William Gardner, “Excellence”
“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”
The world knows Camille Pissarro as one of the greats of French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist styles. His contributions to the art world were immeasurable. He believed that beauty was found in humble locales and insisted on painting individuals in natural settings without “artifice or grandeur.” His peers recognized his compassion and genuine delight in creating a community where others could find a space to fulfill their creative vision. Art historian, John Rewald, called him the “dean of the Impressionist painters” because of his “wisdom and his balanced, kind and warm-hearted personality.” Paul Cezanne said “he was a father for me.” Pierre-Auguste Renoir titled him as a “revolutionary” because of his portrayals of common folk.
Camille Pissarro saw beauty where others saw ordinary. Those around him acknowledged his greatness beyond his artistic endeavours. They saw a humble man who kindled their imagination and encouraged them to seek their personal destinies. He did not hold them back but gave them the freedom to explore.