A Real Lesson in Humility
Book T. Washington, the renowned black educator, was an outstanding example of this truth.
Shotly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the farnous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her.
Because he had no pressing business at the rnornent, Professor Washington srniled, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace.
A little girl recognized hirn and later revealed to the lady. The next morning the embarrassed woman went to see Mr. Washington in his office at the Institute and apologized profusely. “It’s perfectly all right, Madam,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.”
She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart. Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.