I learned a lot about a man this week, and what I learned about him brought back memories of another man I knew many years ago.
On Tuesday evening, after New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie delivered his speech at the Republican National Convention, I heard a television political pundits talking about Mitt Romney’s facial reaction, or lack of such, when Governor Christie was praising Romney. One of the pundits seemed to believe that Romney’s lack of visible excitement over the praise was an indication of how out-of-touch Mr. Romney is with normal human beings. I beg to differ.
The man that I knew many years ago was a Christian man, who was neither wealthy nor was he poor. He was just an ordinary man in most ways, but, in some aspects, he was quite extraordinary.
When the collection plate was passed in church, he never used a check to make his donation. He made his donation with carefully folded cash because he wanted to make sure, in his own heart, that he wasn’t just doing it to reduce his taxes. He folded the money because he did not want his donation to appear flashy. Simply put, he was a humble man, who constantly examined his own motives.
When this man heard of a family in need, he would place money in a sealed envelope, which he would leave in the family’s mailbox late at night, when it was less-likely that anyone could see the source of the gift. He wasn’t ashamed of making the gift. He knew that, if he made the gift openly, then even he could not truthfully tell whether the gift was made out of love or if he gave it out of pride.
This week, I saw that man in Mitt Romney, as he sat there listening to the words of Governor Christie. A few minutes earlier, Ann Romney had given a hint of her husband’s humility when she told us that Mitt doesn’t like to talk about his help to others because he provides that help out of love, and not to gain political points. When his wife spoke of his charitable giving, she said Mitt’s phrase for such gifting was ‘a privilege.” That look on Mitt Romney’s face, which was criticized by the pundit, was the look of humility. We don’t see that look much these days.
As a Conservative, when the Republican primary campaign first began, Mitt Romney was a long way down the list of my favored candidates. As the campaign progressed, and my own favorite dropped out, I moved to the next-favored on my list. When Mitt Romney became the final candidate, I was less than enthusiastic. When he chose Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running-mate, I was impressed. Even as the Republican convention began, I was not entirely happy about the Republican nominee. But then I saw something that I’ve never seen in a political candidate for a high office. I saw humility. Earlier, using other words, his wife had told us about that humility, but I SAW it with my own eyes!
I’ve voted in a number of presidential elections. Although I’ve always voted for the Republican candidate, usually I do so only because I consider that candidate to be the lesser of two evils. Until Tuesday evening, this election would have been no different for me. On Tuesday, I saw humility in a presidential candidate, and now, I am glad that Mitt Romney won the Republican nomination. Now, I will no longer be voting for him just because he is the lesser of two evils. Now, I will be voting for him because I believe that he is just what this country needs – a humble president with the skills necessary to put our nation back on track.