I recall that when in Singapore, we introduce new politicians, they will tell you a story of how they have struggled from a humble background and then against the odds, rise up and do well in life to be in a position to contribute to the society as a politician, to serve the people. And they can tell you somehow they empathise with the people because of what they have gone through so they will be able to serve you better.
I wonder what kind of humility that really is. Because the story is about how despite what we think about the system, it is working. That if the system can uncover and reward someone like me, and allow me to carve a path to where I am, then there isn’t really all that much to fix, that if you too had my tenacity, my capabilities, you’ll rise up to be in my place one day. So what I’ll do is to try and maintain the status quo, so that people like me, can continue to succeed in the society.
I think sometimes humility is acknowledging the privilege that they actually had to be in the place where they are. And to say that they want to be able to use the privilege to help those who did not have that fortune, who did not have the opportunity. The story can be different – and when we are not trying to justify ourselves for where we are, but acknowledging it is perhaps by God’s grace that we find ourselves in the place we are, then we can connect with one another as humans. As fellow sojourners walking along the path of life. That we are not saviours of one another, because we are incapable by ourselves – rather, it is the privilege given to us by the sheer grace of God, that we can use to lift others up.