A Very Little Humility

adjective, humbler, humblest.
1. not proud or arrogant; modest:
to be humble although successful.
2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.:
In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly:
of humble origin; a humble home.
4. courteously respectful:
In my humble opinion you are wrong.
5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size:
a humble member of the galaxy.

(From Dictionary.com)

Humble also refers to:

having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s importance.
“I felt very humble when meeting her”

We are often inclined to distrust both Politicians and Journalists (moreso the hack variety)

Here is yet another example in a seemingly never-ending line of cases why that is so:


If that isn’t a picture of a person who is humbled then i don’t know what is.

Clearly, I don’t.

When the obvious disparity between the headline and the picture first hit me my instant reaction was to think: Typical Politician – utter hypocrite, says one thing does another entirely opposite. (Which ties strongly to my feelings after the events of recent months world wide). My second reaction was to think: Hold on, are you being unfair in your judgement, read the story to see if there is a decent/alternative explanation.

So i read, and as i read a different idea occurred… was the journalist/paper having a dig or being somewhat satirical to politicians? Possibly for popular appeal and to sell more papers?

You might be able to make out the quote from Mr Carey at the bottom of the first column above. “I am deeply humbled (refer def’n at top of post) and honoured. I am incredibly proud of (the campaign we ran and won)…”. This seems to imply my first thought was the correct one – a pollie saying one thing and doing something demonstrating a contrary meaning to what he says.

But consider this: the photo was not taken at the moment he first realised he had won the election and seat in parliament, it was taken during a prepared photo shoot for the paper much later. I doubt very much it was Mr Carey’s idea for him to mimic the Toyota ads gimmic (Oh, What a feeling!) and neither was it Mr Carey’s choice of headline although he might have had the chance to sign off on it – or not?

Add to that the quotation marks about the word humbled in the preceding paragraph to the quote about feeling humbled and it starts to look more like a set up by the paper than  any rank demonstration of a politician’s lack of credibility.

I’m probably being overly analytical or cynical (the two seem to be featuring a lot in my thinking lately) and i should not allow my confirmation bias to determine the conclusions i come to from my observations to the extent it does  (in all of us).

I can confidently say this though: Politicians (and possibly many of us) do not really understand what the word Humbled actually means when applying it to themselves. Some journalists are very devious and can manipulate their stories/articles so as to fit their agendae more than they represent truth. Both politicians and journalists are in every sense human beings with human failings, as are we. We would do well to remember this at all times.

Footnote: Proving my point about not understanding the word Humble, the Lord Mayor of my City – Perth – who has had a very chequered career of late concerning failure to disclose gratuities and gifts of travel and accommodation amounting to tens of thousands of dollars as she is required to under the local government act, as well as placing a gag banning her fellow councillors from commenting on Council business to the media, was heard to say in her defence on a local radio program that she was not dictatorial (the daily paper had a front page picture of her with a Kim Jong Il haircut and comparing Perth City to North Korea!), but that she was a Very Humble Person.

Some of her followers may have swallowed that but i have a clear memory of an email that was leaked a couple of months ago from her office that she had sent to her PA discussing an offer of upcoming free accommodation for a speaking engagement she was being invited to overseas (on Council expenses for her travel anyway) in which she is quoted as saying: “Tell them it has to be 5 star – I don’t do TRASH!!

If that isn’t a humble person then i don’t know what is.






  1. It seems to me that those bent on political careers flunk the test for ‘humble’ right out of the gate anymore – my confirmation bias perhaps, but the more I read the less I find that might change my mind. Perhaps is is no longer possible to survive the rigors of campaigning without an ego that insists on being number one. I don’t know, but I don’t like the breed. Very few have failed to disappoint.

    Humble is as humble does. “I don’t do trash? ” Trash is a long way from anything but 5-star accommodations, which I doubt many of us have experienced often in our travels, and our rooms have been perfectly fine. A good example with which to end this post.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”


  2. We are much of the same mind Madelyn. The thing i don’t like about modern politics is the policy of fear. Using negativity to attract the votes instead of the positivity of what they intend doing to make things better. The constant degrading of the other side rather than the stating of what they stand for and back up with action. And all the hypocrisy. 😦



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