I was talking with someone the other day, a person who had found herself in very serious and demanding waters in recent weeks and, through her own incredible courage and insight, negotiated those waters with great trust, heart, and skill.
As we looked back at these difficult times, we talked about the power of asking for help and I commended her for her willingness and ability to do so. There is so much risk in asking for help, just like there was so much risk for her in her traversing the troubling currents. She had stood at the edge of the swift and uncertain rivers numerous times and found within herself the fortitude to step into a pathless path, to enter the swirling flow, to emerge on the other side acomplished and safer. In response to my comment she paused for a moment. Then she looked me in the eye, and with a quiet certainty that arose from a deep and authentic place replied, "You know, Craig, for a person to have humility they first have to have dignity."
I had never heard this connection between humility and dignity before. How profound. And so poignant. I still get goose-bumps thinking about what she said. For a person to have humility they first have to have dignity. This person, in times that could easily have been humiliating, through her own unblinking honesty with herself and through her own integrity and engagement in life found something of such value.
Her words were not the simple repeating of something she had heard or read somewhere. Perhaps she did read them, or hear them. But by the way she said it, from the look in her eye, I knew that she knew this truth from someplace deeply human and wise within her own heart. She was living what she said. She stood with great dignity and spoke with great humility.
I wish I could describe that moment in a way that could really bring to life how touching it was. I wish I could write in a way that truly conveyed the truth and beauty of that moment, which was based solely on the truth and beauty that is this person. It was a moment I will never forget. Hers are words I will never forget. She is a person I will never forget. I am so grateful for what she has brought into my life.