August 13


Today's Quotation:

Really great people have a curious feeling that the greatness is not in them, but through them.  And they see something divine in every other person.

John Ruskin

Today's Meditation:

When we look at great people in the world, it's easy to think that there's something very special about them as people, something that "sets them apart" from the rest of us.  After all, they've accomplished much more than the rest of us have achieved, it seems, and they're in the public spotlight in ways that the rest of us never will be.  There must be some sort of gift that they've been given that makes them great, that makes them able to achieve greatness.

But in my experience, I see more and more that we confuse fame with greatness, public notoriety with accomplishment.  Just because someone is in the public eye constantly doesn't mean that a person is great, and just because a person isn't in the public eye doesn't mean that he or she is not great, or is not accomplishing great things.

If we're to accomplish great things, it seems that John Ruskin has a wonderful perspective that can help us to learn how to do so:  allow greatness to work through us, rather than trying to pull it out of ourselves.  If we can do this, we can allow ourselves to work with the world, to make ourselves conduits through which some very important things can happen.  Life is a powerful force, and we all experience it every day, but how often do we put our sense of self aside and just say, "Okay life (or God, or whatever force you think can work through you), do your thing, and use me to accomplish what you need to do!"

Life can use us, but only if we allow it to do so.  Life can be something special, but only if we open ourselves to the specialness.  If we open our eyes and our hearts to the people and the world around us, we can truly reach for greatness, even if we never gain notoriety or fame.  True greatness doesn't need to concern itself with whether or not other people are looking, or how many people are looking.

Questions to ponder:

1.  In which ways can you potentially be a great person?

2.  What sorts of things keep you from expressing your greatness?

3.  How do you personally define greatness?

For further thought:

Great people have not been concerned with fame.  The joy of achievement that comes from finding something new in the universe is by far their greatest joy.

William P. King

more thoughts and ideas on greatness



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