November 27     

Today's quotation:

Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.  People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.

Anne Frank

Today's Meditation:

I've met quite a few people whom I consider to be great, and few of them are wealthy or "powerful."  The great people whom I've been fortunate enough to get to know have been kind, compassionate, and caring human beings who are able to help other people get by during difficult times, who are able to succeed on their own terms when they undertake difficult or risky tasks, and who stick to their own ways of doing things even when things get difficult.

Great people don't compromise their integrity or their values.  they know what they stand for, and they would rather suffer a short-term loss because they won't compromise their character than win a battle by doing something that violates their integrity.  They are willing to be there for other people when needed because they know that they are called to serve while here on this planet, not to be served.  You can depend on them to keep their word, and you know that they would never, ever, stab you in the back.

They are also very good at taking care of themselves.  They don't let their lives unbalance; that is, when their strength is waning, they make sure that they recoup that strength before trying to take on some other tasks.  Sometimes what they do for others is simply sit and talk with them, allowing them to vent and to sort out issues in their minds, and they're very good listeners-- they don't need to tell others what to do in order to feel that they're helping them.

I hope to be great one day-- I hope to be kind and compassionate and loving, and I hope to be able to help others to cope with the difficulties that they encounter in the lives that they're leading.  But I don't fool myself into thinking that greatness equals fame, or even notoriety; rather, I keep in mind the great people whom I've known and I do my best to emulate the ways that they've shown the greatness in themselves through the kindness and the service they offer others.

Questions to consider:

How do you define greatness?

Why do we tend to associate the word "great" with the people who have influence over many others?

How do "greatness" and "humility" work together?

For further thought:

I believe that the first test of a great person is his or her humility.  I don't mean by humility, doubt of one's power.  But really great people have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them.  And they see something divine in every other person and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.

John Ruskin

more thoughts and ideas on greatness



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