Have you ever contemplated greatness? What does it mean to be GREAT? We call someone who commits a heroic act, risking their own life to save hundreds of others, a great person. But does it take heroic deeds, fame or wealth to make one great?
It was once prophesied that I was destined for great works, great things. I have yet to accomplish anything extraordinary. I haven't rescued any children from burning buildings, or become a political or religious leader. I've published no moving tales, painted nothing noteworthy, invented anything to improve the general standard of living, solved the problem of world hunger or cured cancer. From the way I'm headed it doesn't appear that any of these things are going to happen, so what GREAT things am I destined for?
Well, perhaps I've already performed these works. I have two beautiful children that mean the world to me. I have come to a conclusion regarding the truth in religion, and have found my way through my darkest hours, with a little nudging from the wet, loving nose of brother Wolf.
I asked this question of Wolf, "What does it take for a deed to be considered great?"
"Greatness, like beauty," he told me, "is in the eye of the beholder."
Then he led me a beautiful fountain and bid me look inside. I promptly did so.
On the surface of the water I saw a still image of myself smiling at a complete stranger. From over my shoulder came his voice.
"Therein lies the truth of greatness."
I have come to understand that normal people perform great deeds on a daily basis. Smiling at a total stranger, for instance. Not merely because you think they're cute, but just because. If you stop to think about this simple little thing (and I have), you may not have changed the entire world, but you may have just changed theirs. For all you know they could have been having the worst day in the world.
Think for a minute about a time you were really stressed out, the whole world seemed to be crashing down around your ears. And then someone smiled at you. Not a friend or loved one, but just someone in the mall, on the street, on a bus... someone you didn't know. I've been there and I know how I reacted. The whole world suddenly brightened up. Things didn't seem so bad. And I carried that smile with me the rest of the day. Was that an act of greatness? I would say so.
Is every little deed we perform to be considered something great? No. But everyone performs small acts of kindness on a daily basis. Whether it's hugging your children for no real reason, holding the door for your partner, or yes, just smiling at a complete stranger. These things change that person's life in a small, but significant way. And therein, brothers and sisters, lies the truth of greatness.
Walk in Light, Hunt in Shadow