11/4/08

Veni, Vidi, Vici.


"I came,, I see, I conquered." The words of Julius Caesar at the conclusion of the Pontic campaign in 47 BC. This is what came to mind when I saw Mr Obama's face this morning on CNN during his victory speech. I am glad that he won - he deserves it. Few people realise the kind of history that he made during his campaign. Never again will political campaigns be the same, never before was a campaign run like his - maybe it will never happen again!


Some people are just put on this earth to rule and to stand head and shoulders above any other. Sometimes one person just has so much charisma that other people are drawn to him / her. In my opinion there were not many such people placed on earth. I place Mr Obama in the same category as Julius Caesar and Madiba. People, who against all odds, with single minded determination rose above all others and won the day.


But these extremely strong people are humble people. This is what fascinates me always. Barak Obama's love for his wife, the acknowledgement that without her his victory would not have been possible. This is why these people are strong. They know they must rely on people close to them to achieve what they set for themselves. Mr Mandela said in a speech in Cape Town on the 11th of February 1990 "I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands."


A while ago our preacher explained what it means to be humble - really humble. He said there are ten tests to see whether you are haughty (proud). (1) Are you willing to be corrected? (2) Do you easily ask for help? (3) Do you care what people of think of you? (4) Are you fiercely independent? (5) Do you easily hurt others feelings? (6) Do you forgive easily? (7) Do you easily condemn other people? (8) Do you put your comfort and interest above those of other people? (9) Are you tolerant with others shortcomings? (10) Must you always have the last word?


You can test these ten questions against the great people I have mentioned today and you will see that they are humble people notwithstanding their greatness. They respect other people and realise that not everyone is as brilliant as they are - and are tolerant of these shortcomings (even though I can imagine that few people are tolerant towards them!).


I leave you with the wise words of Madiba: "No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." (Long Walk to Freedom 1994)


Please think on this dear Reader. Why do we not all try to be more humble and I am sure that the world will be a much better place to live in. Have a nice day.

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