Include the Humble Folk

Story of the Day for Saturday September 10, 2011

Include the Humble Folk

                      Be of the same mind toward each other. Don’t be arrogant in your thinking, but make accommodation for the humble folk. 

                                                                                          Romans 12:16

 Imagine a committee of ten members. Everyone has a degree in political science – except one man, who is a vacuum cleaner repairman. A political think tank wants to fly the committee to Washington immediately to help solve an urgent problem. The plane, however, can only seat nine passengers. One member of the committee  must stay back. Who do you choose to leave behind?

The vacuum cleaner repairman, right?

Well no. Actually, the vacuum cleaner repairman should be considered the one indispensible member of the committee.


The notion that the repairman is vital to the group comes from the Bible. Well, maybe not that specifically, but that’s where the principle first arose.


Researchers are confirming what we have long suspected: “stupid” people make a group smarter.

Have you ever been in a meeting when some lowly novice makes a comment so outlandish that the room erupts in laughter? And then someone says, “Hey, wait a minute – I think he might have a point here.”

When groups of experts get together, they support each other’s views. Their respect for each other’s expertise actually makes them more stupid.

Scott E. Page, a professor at the University of Michigan, posed problems for groups to solve. Some groups were all experts. Other groups included experts and not-so-smart members. Now, get this: the mixed group with the lower average intelligence was always better at solving problems than the group consisting solely of experts.


Cool. So, what’s the point?

Groups tend to exclude (or at least, look down on) the person who isn’t on the same wavelength as everyone else. The world thinks the quality of the group will improve when they get rid of the “misfits.”

The Bible says we must take pains to include the “humble folk.” Paul is talking about us as Christians, and about the need to work as a group – to share a common attitude and mindset.  But he makes the observation that wouldn’t be “discovered” for a couple thousand years. Paul warns us against haughtiness. We must renounce an attitude of superiority and show special attention to the “humble folk.”

Why? Because all people are important. And, besides, without them, we’d be pretty stupid.

                                                              (copyright by and by Marty Kaarre)