In praise of humility and simplicity

The more humble you become the greater you seem to your audience. This has been my experience in the last few years. One of the striking examples His Holiness Pope Francis, the supreme leader of the Catholic world. Who can refute his greatness, and humility and simplicity simultaneously?

We have a new Archbishop in Bangalore Catholic Archdiocese. His Grace Rev. Dr Peter Machado. He has been transferred from Belgaum (in North Karnataka) to Bengaluru. He took charge of the Archdiocese in May. And he has, already, won hearts of many!

He requests people to address him ‘Father’ and not other highfalutin titles like ‘His Grace’, ‘Lordship’, and the like. Second, he lives, moves, and speaks so simple, that no one feels daunted in his presence. Just like one of us! I love that simplicity! It’s fascinating. Third, he doesn’t like any formality: be it making fuss over him or changing programmes for his sake! A down-to-earth man! That is what I call a ‘man untouched by power!’

The last one is a very rare quality among leaders – be they political or religious or any institutional. Power is such a luring and blinding thing, that people thrust into chairs, become completely become blind. I am reminded of Lord Acton: power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I have found many a leader to be thinking no ends of him/herself. Before they are elevated, they are charming and “pleasing”. But once they take over the charge, they expose their tyrant selves. They manipulate every rule to suit their selfish designs, use the very people who made them leaders, and pay for having them. These leaders refuse to work (their own mandate, or their very duties which define them), and lord it over them. And to keep their chairs, they are quick to find a victim, condemn the helpless without trial, using rules and gods. Poor citizens are left high and dry.

This is where the likes of Pope Francis and Archbishop Peter Machado are beacons of light, and are a welcome change in the world of the corrupt and greedy leaders. While I can easily cite the examples of religious/ spiritual leaders, I apologise that I am at a loss to cite an example from our politics!

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