That comment for me was contrasted with a presentation I saw last week from Dr Jordan Nguyen. Jordan is a biomedical engineer. On Jordan’s website he states, “[my] mission in life is to improve the lives of as many people as possible and to be a driving force behind positive human and technological evolution in to the future”. Jordan has been using his expertise to partner with others to design and build solutions to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Jordan has invented some very impressive things and is achieving his life’s purpose. But what struck me when he spoke was his tremendous humility.
Historian, theologian and author John Dickson describes humility as “the ability to redirect your power, to forego your status and deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.” (Humiltas, 2009).
Many think humility is a weakness (probably the author of the quote, “in my great and unmatched wisdom”), but the reality is that we admire those with great humility. The great Jim Collins, author of best seller “Good to Great” asserts that it is possible to be humble, iron-willed and successful. True humility is a strength.
The last phrase in our School’s purpose statement says, “… with a heart for servant leadership.” As I have written in the past, servant leadership is a description of people who go about making a positive difference to other people’s lives without a desire for recognition.
I see many current students and past students who have a servant heart and a wonderful sense of humility. Like Jordan Nguyen, they are looking for ways to make a positive difference.
As we begin the final term of the year, our current senior students (Year 12) literally only have a few School days left. Sooner than they can imagine, they will be walking through a guard of honour at their final assembly to leave St Paul’s and begin the next chapter of their lives.
Deciding what to do with the rest of your life is no easy task. Some will be determined, others will still be indecisive, anxious and unsure. That’s okay. Everyone will eventually find their way. But I hope that every student leaves St Paul’s with a desire to make a positive difference to others. Our world will be a better place for it.
Dr Paul Browning