So why would we pay so much attention to royalty? I mean, she really had no political power; her family’s distinction is more symbolic than one denoting a ruling authority.
So what is it about Queen Elizabeth II that prompts the unprecedented pomp and circumstance of the week?
Why did they broadcast live?
And better yet, why did we watch?
It was expected to be the most-watched moment in TV history. Estimates are that more than half of the world’s population watched it. I wonder why…
Maybe, just maybe, it’s because Queen Elizabeth stood for something more.
Maybe, just maybe, she stood for something different.
Even though a celebrity, she seemed to never divorce herself from the call to service.
Even though so obviously privileged, she seemed to never equate privilege with entitlement.
And even though she lived a life where the eyes of the masses were always upon her, she seemed to never think of herself as one who had so much to give to them; she instead possessed the keen awareness of wondering what others could instead teach her.
As the Intramuralist joined the enormous viewing crowds, there was one description of her repeated by many that magnifies all of the above — all of what’s most responsible for our collective attraction to and deep respect for this Queen who’s tenure spanned more than seven decades…
It was said of her that it was more important to her to be seen and not heard.
Allow us to say that again: seen and not heard.
With all due respect, how many of our leaders walk into a room with the goal of listening both first and most?
How many could care less about their Instagram status?
How many never posture themselves in anything other than a humble position?
I’ll be honest… when penning this post, I again found myself wrestling with the idea of assuming a humble posture. With all the ills and ails in the world, it just may be that our individual unwillingness to consistently frequent and encourage a humble posture may be our most significant sin, weakness, glaring blind spot, you-name-it.
A humble posture is the opposite of a proud posture. Let us be clear; we speak not of being proud of what we do, proud of who we are, or proud of the gazillions of ways we’ve each been gifted or blessed, even when we can’t see it. That pride is more of an embedded gratefulness.
The pride that opposes humility is one marked by arrogance — better yet, marked by judgment.
Proud people judge people in comparison to themselves…
If I wouldn’t do it, why would they? … If I wouldn’t think it, why should they? … Obviously, something must be wrong with them.
The proud’s extension of compassion and grace, therefore, is based on — and thus limited by— self.
Back to the Queen of the United Kingdom… if her behavior towards others was based on self — knowing the massive extent of her celebrity, wealth, privilege and power — who could stand? Who would not be judged?
Hence, allow us a final, respectful shout out/curtsy/bow to Elizabeth II… how inspiring to have such a capable, contemporary, humble leader and example.