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“Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” ~Ezra T. Benson

Barbara Bush died last week at the age of 92. She lived a full life, left a large footprint. She was a political and cultural icon. Her funeral is taking place as I type these words.

Former first lady and mother to six children—one of whom became president, another who ran for that office—she was, by all accounts, a blunt woman of considerable intelligence and charm whose children called her “the enforcer.”

She was that rare combination of grace and grit.

All who knew her personally respected and slightly feared her: it was though she wore an invisible neon sign flashing “No B.S. allowed.”

Many tributes have been aired. In listening to one I learned something that speaks volumes about her character.

While living at the White House, Mrs. Bush insisted that she and her husband, former President George H. Bush, stay home during major holidays: New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. She insisted on this so that their Presidential secret service detail, whose code name for Mrs. Bush was “Tranquility,” could spend the holidays with their loved ones.

I find that remarkable, humbling, in fact.

And I find it achingly refreshing in this gilded age of “look-at-me-selfies”, one in which our leaders seem to flourish—and flounder.

Barbara Bush, loving matriarch and literacy mentor, she of the pearl-draped neck, carried immense influence with class and directness.

She was real, without veneer, and humble in a way that knows its own worth but declines to brag about it.

Grace and grit.

We could all use a little more of both.

“The really tough thing about humility is you can’t brag about it.” ~Gene Brown

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