Greatness and fame are too often seen as the same thing. All around us we are bombarded with pictures and stories of “great people” who have had a song reach number one, hit a homerun or been elected President. However, does the world have a deluded idea of what true greatness really is? 2016 saw the death of many celebrities and people in the public eye, everything from authors, musicians, actor’s etc. and with their deaths came the stories of how they really lived. As I heard some of these stories, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Here were many, who in their rise to fame and popularity had the attention, contacts and financial means that could have been the makings of real, positive and huge change, however, they let the pride and glamor of stardom too often get in the way and cloud their true ability, value, purpose and direction. Is this true greatness?
A particular line in one of my readings this week read “Greatness is planted in the seedbed of humility, it’s watered by the deeds of servant hood and it’s cultivated by the hands of perseverance until it finally yields the harvest of royalty.” I love this sentence! I believe humility and greatness walk hand in hand. I believe that with constant and consistent words and actions that serve others, the harvest is greatness. And I believe the rewards of humility outweigh the dollar signs of stardom hands down. It has never been the person yelling loudly “look at me, see what I have done, aren’t I great?” that defines true greatness to me. In my life the truly great people were never pictured in the magazines at the tills, they are those who taught me the things that really matter, the things that build a person of character. They taught me right from wrong, the meaning of hard work, compassion, understanding, love, forgiveness, courage, determination, integrity, loyalty and humility. They led by example and left a pathway of real goodness and change. I believe true greatness lies deep in the heart of every person and every day we have the choice with what we plant. It is those choices that will determine what the harvest is.