Queen Victoria was once at a diplomatic reception in London. The guest of honor was an African chieftain. All went well during the meal until, in the end, finger bowls were served. The guest of honor had never seen a British finger bowl and no one had thought to brief him beforehand about its purpose. So he took the bowl in his hands, lifted it to his mouth, and drank its contents down.
For an instant, there was breathless silence among the British privileged guests and then they began to whisper to one another. However, they stopped when Queen Victoria silently took her finger bowl in her hands, lifted it, and drank its contents. A moment later, 500 surprised British ladies and gentlemen simultaneously drank the contents of their own finger bowls.
It was the queen’s uncommon courtesy that guarded her guest against a certain embarrassment. This is a very rare but very effective human trait which only true leaders can demonstrate!
Flash: In life, we all look for chances to humiliate someone else but only true leaders behave in the most dignified manner and convert the embarrassment of one into an opportunity for everyone.
Moral: While the most common human trait is to look for chances to humiliate someone else or to be neutral when they make a mistake, it takes the presence of mind, an uncommon courtesy to follow someone else’s mistake in order to guard them against embarrassment!
Good actions are a guard against the blows of adversity