This I Have Learned … For Thanksgiving—On Being Humble

Mary Jo Bellner Swartzberg

I bought it in a vintage market where people go to look for a “find” that might have some historical significance or, for that matter, for an item as an unusual conversation piece. This particular item falls into the latter category. I won’t use the usual cliché that “it called out to me,” but, in some way, it did.

Made of heavy, striated marble, this item was shoved into a small shelf area in the store, and one would almost miss it if he or she were not carefully looking around. But, actually, I was not looking for anything in particular that day. When I saw this angel figurine with its humble posture, I knew that I wanted to touch it.

It was smoothly honed, and being marble, it was cool to the touch. When I lifted the 7-inch figurine, the heft of it astounded me—it weighed 2 pounds. I turned it over to determine its price, which was a mere $10 and change. The condition of the figurine was excellent and, along with the weight of the piece and its minimal cost, gave me reason to pause. However, I carried it around with me while I hunted for other treasures in the store, but on that day, the figurine was the only piece that I took home.

I have often wondered what its history has been and, in particular, why someone would have consigned it to a vintage market. But then, this is the allure of “finds” when we try to determine the why and wherefore of a treasure.

The angel figurine is currently presiding on my nightstand and spreading humility in our home.

Here are some quotes about maintaining humility when being around other people:

1. “Don’t think less of yourself, just think of yourself less.” —Ken Blanchard

2. “To lead the people, walk behind them.” —Lao Tzu

3. “There’s no need to show off when you know who you are.” —Maxime Lagacé

4. “Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.” —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

5. “Do you wish people to think well of you? Don’t speak well of yourself.” —Blaise Pascal

6. “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” —Henri Frederic Amiel

7. “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” —Miyamoto Musashi

8. “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” —Dr. Paul Farmer

9. “Without humility, there can be no humanity.” —John Buchan

10. “Humility is the most beautiful virtue that we can develop.” —Joyce Meyer


November is here, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to humbly give thanks.

This I Have Learned …