Humility & Humor (9/25/13)

 The famous British leader Winston Churchill had just finished a rousing speech. Upon his final words, the crowd who had gathered to hear him erupted with a thunderous ovation. However, when the clapping and and cheering ceased, one man, unimpressed by Sir Winston’s rhetoric, blew him the “raspberry.”

The rest of the audience froze in suspense, awaiting the powerful statesman’s response to the rude critic. Would he scream at the man, publicly humiliate him? Would he have him thrown out of the audience? Churchill looked at his tormentor and then spoke.

“I know,” he said good-naturedly. “I agree with you. But what are we among so many?”

Churchill’s humble and humorous reply was a hit with the throng, and the tense situation was quickly diffused.

Like Sir Winston, you might occasionally face insults or criticism from a jealous or mean-spirited nemesis. In such cases, it’s tempting to become angry and lose your composure. And in today’s power-is-everything world, to fight fire with fire. Unfortunately, this approach usually leads to someone getting burned.

Don’t forget the power of humility and humor to relax a tense situation. The Bible promises that a soft answer turns away wrath. Certainly, there will be times when you must forcefully defend yourself or a friend. Be watchful, however, for those times when a clever, self-deprecating comeback can disarm even the hostile of foes, the harshest of critics.