Modesty and Moxie: The Inspiring Story of Judge Sandhill

By Saivachan Ponnapalli

HOUSTON: Walking in to the Harris County Civil Courthouse, I instantly knew that this YLDP session was going to be an unforgettable experience. The sheer grandeur of the Courthouse astounded me, and I was really looking forward to the session. The session with Judge Ravi Kumar Sandhill, renowned in Houston for coveted accomplishments and making Indo-Americans proud, taught me unforgettable and ever-ushering lessons for the rest of my life.

Judge Sandhill kept his interesting story simple. After reiterating the topic of the session, Humility and Resolve, he delineated it through his life story, which inspired the whole class. His story was a mélange of pain, courage, surprise, disappointment, happiness and left us in awe of his brilliant resilience. As we travelled through his childhood travails, we could empathize his sufferings when he was thrown in alien environments repeatedly and when he was forced to go to business school. The story touched a personal soft spot when we sailed through his cancer story. Having lost a few family members to the menace of cancer, I instantly connected to his account of his journey with cancer I am sure all audience were completely engaged.

We learnt many important lessons from Judge Sandhill that day, but the most important one was his resolve and humility. In an age where we worry over trivial matters, Judge Sandhill went through some of the most difficult obstacles ever. Yet he never relented. After so much, as a class we could not believe that this man was fighting every single time, coming back twice as stronger.

Even after he reaped many rewards, he stayed humble. His simplicity after achieving so much was truly encouraging to us. Not once did Judge Sandhill make us feel detached and distant. His story and demeanor let all of us connect to Judge Sandhill instantly. In the end, I felt highly motivated. Not just me, but our whole class had garnered many brilliant lessons that we could use in our day-to-day life to become better leaders, and better people overall.