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Greatness by any other name....

Agent009's picture
on December 22, 2009 - 7:30am

I haven't had much time to sit in front of a television in the last few days. However, last night, I was channel surfing that last ten minutes before I could no longer resist slipping into a state of unconsciousness.
And in that surfing, I heard some woman giving an interview in which she said something to the effect of: raising children is so important because you never know what greatness will come from them...what they will turn out to be.
Now those aren't the exact words, but the tone/message was definitely one of: you might be raising the next President or a network news anchor or a scientist who finds the cure for cancer

And I got to thinking about that: What constitutes greatness?

Sure, all those things will clearly impact many lives. I think we focus on that a many lives will you touch. I especially think in this time in history, there's a weight to how many people know who you are....that whole fame-game, 'reality' television, a celebrity who is only known for being a celebrity thing. Because, surely, if people KNOW who you are, than you must be making an impact.

I so very much BEG to differ. Just being known can be very empty.
It isn't at all about how many people know you. It's all about what you DO with it. Is there kindness? Generosity of spirit? Tolerance? Love?

I also beg to differ on the count that greatness can only be found if millions of people know your name. I see greatness every single day. It's there, if you look for it.
That check-out girl at the grocer who is ALWAYS kind and always smiling. You think being a check-out girl is FUN? probably not. But, she keeps it positive. Is she any less great than a smiling talk-show host? Nope, not at all.
Brilliant brilliant people that I work with whose jobs are all 'stage-hand' equivalent. They'll never be in the spotlight, However, those in the spotlight would be failures without what they do. Are they any less than great? Absolutely not.
My son's piano teacher: Kind, a gift for music, a gift for teaching, and what does she do with her amazing gifts? She's giving lessons out of her living room....lessons that give my son and other kids the gift of music. There isn't a musician alive that's any greater than that.
I suppose you could call it that "It's a Wonderful Life" phenomenon. Everyday, we touch people. And regardless of whether or not those people are going to become president or a plumber, a nobel-prize winning scientist or a fry cook, it MATTERS. Whether or not your reach includes millions or include half a dozen, it MATTERS.
There is greatness in kindness.....regardless of the venue or audience.

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