The Thought for the Day – Sonny Bono

Humility will give you the power to do the job honestly.  – Sonny Bono, December 5, 1997


Sonny Bono was an American singer, actor and politician and today’s Thought was one of the few we were actually present at when uttered. Sonny was a Congressman from Palm Springs at the time and yours truly was a not particularly good newspaper reporter in a small town a bit south of there and Sonny was in town for a fundraiser and yours truly was dispatched to provide coverage. Sonny was funny and gracious and he died in a skiing accident a month and a day later. He remains the only US Congressman to have a number one single.

A good definition of humility is having a modest view of your importance and being liberated from pride and arrogance. When humility has completely taken hold of us it makes us realize how little we know. It makes us grateful for the things we can do well and gives us the wisdom to know what we don’t do well.  It does not mean denigrating your abilities nor does it imply weakness because humility and confidence often, usually, walk hand in hand. Humility is a natural inhibitor of cockiness and overconfidence.

There are many opportunities to be humble. Our favorite personal example comes from sports officiating. There have been times we’ve gone out in a big game and delivered our very best. Every time we’ve had to, actually, which is supremely satisfying because once a man knows this about himself what else is there to know? Not much, really, but you can’t get cocky and you can’t get too full of yourself. You must remain mindful of the work that produced your very best and that that effort will always be required lest you go out one time and not deliver your very best.

Humility will give you the power to do the job honestly…

Humility is very powerful. The truly humble are always in control of themselves. Humility allows you to set aside personal gain for the greater good, particularly if you are a leader. It allows you to acknowledge both your strengths and your weaknesses and it puts you in a position to get the most out of your time on this planet, life’s great prize.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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