Friday, December 2, 2011
Humilitas, John Dickson Leadership books are a dime a dozen. But this one is exceptional. Perhaps because it isn’t first and foremost about leadership, it is a book that attempts to define humility, chart its history in western Civilization, and give pointers as to how one might develop it in one’s own life. In the end, you end up realizing, humility is the secret to great leadership. It just is. At first, you have to wonder what kind of pompous jerk would take it upon himself to tell others about humility. It is a paradox that John Dickson deals with well, though. The fear is that the book will be a sermon on humility. It isn’t. At least it doesn’t come off preachy, and the best sermons never do, so maybe it is… I think the book is better towards the middle and going into the end. As a pastor, I found his insights into Jesus Christ to be eye opening. That biographical sketch is necessary, because as Dickson shows, Jesus was the culture changer that made the West recognize humility as a virtue. What western Culture was like before Jesus is completely different than what it has become since his appearance, and he is responsible for the greatest of these changes in one way or another. That Humility seems to be diminishing today, is something to ponder. It is perhaps the greatest indicator of the wane of Christianity in recent years. Should western culture want to regain it’s former glory, though, then it will have to regain appreciation for humility. I suppose it is something we all struggle with.