Be Humble

Filed in Living by on November 11, 2013 0 Comments

iStock_000015943885XSmallWhen I was working with my talented book designer on the book I recently published, I had to make the decision of what to put on the cover. She recommended, and I agreed, that we should choose a photo of a near-retiree or retiree, since my book is about transitioning to and living in retirement. Once this decision was made, she provided me with several different images we might use, most of which were photos of attractive, older men and women that would be quite appropriate. She also included as an option a couple of pictures of me we could use. When I asked her about these, she said, “Well, after all, it is your book, so you are completely entitled to put your picture on the cover. Many people do.”

I thought about it and decided pretty quickly not to use my own picture. It was actually a quite easy decision. It just didn’t feel right. Putting my picture on the cover seemed to me a bit arrogant and self-serving, and didn’t suit my personality. We eventually chose a picture of a well-dressed man, probably in his late forties or early fifties, which would work well for my message.

Now, as I think more about it, there is a specific passage in the bible that likely led me to the decision not to place myself on the cover of my book. I will relay it to you:

When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.

If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.

But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the guests.

Luke 14:8-10

In retrospect, had I placed my picture on the cover, it is likely some people would have thought, “I can’t believe he put his own picture on the cover. It’s not as though he’s Dr. Phil or Steve Jobs!” Whether this is a fair criticism or not, it had the potential to make me seem somewhat arrogant and full of myself. I didn’t want to even run that risk.

Instead, many family and friends have commented on what they perceive as my restraint and humility. Many have commented, “Oh, you should have put your picture on the cover. After all, it is your book!” Some have even been so kind as to say, “You are also much better looking than the man on the cover—yet one more reason it should be a picture of you!”

I don’t know about that, but it certainly is a nice sentiment.

I have found the bible to be an extremely valuable tool as I make all types of decisions, large or small, throughout the course of my life. You might also consider using the bible as a guidebook for living. It will never steer you wrong!

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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