At year’s end, I find myself deep in thought about the value of gratitude, humility and modesty. The longer I go the more I know the importance of these “Big Three” for leaders and for individuals at large.

In ancient societies, such as those of old Greece, Rome and China, there was an ache among the masses for leaders whose strength was rooted in gratitude, humility and modesty. “The People” yearned to see something heroic, something noble mixed with “The Big Three.” So it also was with leaders down through the decades in the historic experiment that is our own United States. Think Washington and Lincoln. And so it is in America today.

We The People want strength and decisiveness in our leader, yes. But we also want that tempered by gratitude, humility and modesty. If there can also be demonstrations of tolerance, inclusiveness and (as the Pope has counseled) tenderness, so much the better. With at least a touch of nobility added, so much the better still.

How far we are from this with our current President is for each citizen to ponder on his or her own. But ponder it we should…and must. Nothing less than the future of our great American experiment, Western Civilization and, indeed, the world depends on what we decide and how we proceed.