The other morning I was watching MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle, guest hosted by Chris Jansing. In the segment Jansing was interacting with a panel including a general in the United States army. At one point she referred to the general as a “sergeant”.
Oops! That’s a significant faux pas!
Immediately, Jansing caught herself and, with some embarrassment, apologetically mused, “I demoted you!”
Without missing a beat, the general replied, “No you didn’t. I got to be a general by listening to sergeants.”
In many ways, it was a minor exchange, a mere blip in the black hole of uncouth incivility that appears to be gaining a grip on the public square. Nonetheless, like a single star twinkling on an inky black background, that general’s reply reflected the civility, humility, and class of true leadership.