Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Spirit of Calm Humility

This past weekend I married Kamilla and Naum, a great couple, who know each other from the time they were kids. Their parents actually knew each other back in Eastern Europe. Their humble personalities reminded me of a story I read many years ago, and it is with that story that I began my personal remarks to them:

Let me recount a short story. Sometime in the 1950s, David Ben Gurion summoned Shneur Zalman Shazar (Israel’s future president) to his office, and he told him that he wanted to send him to the Soviet Union as Israel’s ambassador. Shazar, who was a loyal public servant, immediately accepted. Ben Gurion then said to him, “Shazar, you must understand that the Israeli ambassador to the Soviet Union has to know how to keep quiet.” Shazar assured the prime minister that this would not be a problem. Ben Gurion then explained, “Shazar, I am not sure you get it. The Israeli ambassador to the Soviet Union has to be so quiet, that the whole world hears how quiet he is!”

Now, as many here know, from having lived there, Ben Gurion was telling Shazar to do this for geopolitical reasons. However, there is a lesson here regarding a very important quality for life, in general, for the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and for Houston in the 2010s. I believe that Kamilla and Naum exemplify this quality of humility that Ben Gurion was talking about. You see, Kamilla and Naum are humble individuals, who don't spend their time telling you how great they are. They are too busy putting their noses to the grindstone, and getting the job done. They are busy continuing to build their relationship. They are busy living fulfilling and richly meaningful lives, as individuals and as a couple.

When you interact with Kamilla and Naum, that all comes through. They just have what I would call a spirit of calm humility. You get the idea that you can count on them. You understand that these are serious and reliable people. You realize that if you pay attention you might learn something too.

So, Kamilla and Naum, hold on to that. You have something going, as individuals and as a couple, that not everyone has. Keep working hard, keep growing, and keep on setting an example for what a really meaningful and rich life can and should look like.

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