Humility Makes Sense

August 21, 2013 — Leave a comment


I had significant shoulder surgery a few months ago and my orthopedic surgeon was Dr. Nolan.  He is fantastic.  A number of magazines list him as Fort Bend’s top orthopedic surgeon.  I have no idea how those ratings occur but I do know that I have been more than pleased with his professionalism, skill and manner.

He recently, at my request, showed me the photos taken during my shoulder surgery.  He pointed out a completely torn rotator cuff, bone spurs, torn other stuff and odds and ends.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of those photos but he read them with ease, pointing out what the problems were and how he corrected them. You see, Dr. Nolan is an expert in his field and he knows what he is talking about when it comes to orthopedic procedures.

Later this week, I will fly from here to there on a sophisticated jet aircraft in congested airspace.  I do not want Dr. Nolan, as intelligent and gifted as he may be, to show up in the cockpit and give it a whirl with my flight.  His expertise in one area doesn’t necessarily translate into expertise in another area.

On the contrary …give me Paul Britton on the flight deck.  Paul Britton is a FCCC member for whom our military spent millions of dollars in aviation training.  Paul flew sophisticated, top secret jets in the military and is now a captain for Southwest Airlines.

I want a Paul Britton to fly me from here to there and I want a Dr. Nolan to perform delicate surgery on my beat up shoulder. I do not want Paul to operate on my shoulder and I do not want Dr. Noland to fly me from here to there.

None of us is an expert at everything.  Humility just makes sense.  Humility is common sense.  Only the incredibly arrogant are “know it all’s” who engage in what author John Dickson calls “competency extrapolation” – assuming that expertise in one field automatically translates into expertise in other or all fields.

Humility is not only beautiful, not only inspiring, but it is also wise because humility postures you to receive the expertise and service of others. No wonder the Bible says we should “clothe ourselves in humility toward one another.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

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