Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written in the history of this generation. ~Robert Kennedy
What is greatness and what does it take to become a great person?
It is a state of mind where one feels or is believed to be superior when compared to others who are similar in type and kind. It is a quality an individual posses that is perceived to be better than all others who are comparable. And we bestow this generous title on those who have do something that is considered beyond ordinary or attainable. Or at times greatness is also witnessed in simple and basic human behavior which elevates someone to a higher status than others. An act of charity, sacrifice for another person’s benefit, inspiring others, being of timely help to someone, visiting a friend a relative to spend some time with them and make them laugh, selflessness, or even a simple kind gesture of kindness can all account for small greatness that each of us can achieve. Needless to say the gratifying experience that we enjoy when we do such small things helps us perhaps reflect upon our own purpose and value in our lives too. It also encourages us to more such acts and spread more kindness to the people around us.
Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Greatness can be directed towards self. Greatness in character, in thinking, and taking the trouble and initiative to self improve and progress in our lives. Every one of us gives up at some point in our life on the account of hardships, obstacles, lack of resources or support. But we usually come back to it again and try again. If we didn’t try to over come these obstacles and had given up every time we feel or stumbled , we would never have learned to walk, talk, read, learn, survive, educated ourselves, get a job, love, trust people, and succeed in life. And people, who are very similar to us, went on to achieve small greatness in each of these simple aspects in their respective lives. They chose to run, speak with beautiful words, choose great material to read, leaned lot more, survived difficult times, learned and chose to get better qualification, get better jobs, earn more, love more, forgive and go small but many such greater things in life.
As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. ~Mohandas Gandhi
And contrary to popular belief, a person need not be born privileged or with greatness to do great things in life. If we read the lives of many who have contributed the most amazing things to humanity and our world, we will realize that almost every one of them raised from humble beginnings, unthinkable hardships and betrayals. But they were determined, they believed in themselves and persevered to do what they believed in. And they accomplished their small dream or ambition to leave behind an act which we considered to be great. A recent poll conducted by CNN for the Hero of world award was a world-wide revelation of a number of people in our world today who continue to great things in life. People who are not any much different from us. Feeding the poor and needy, clearing mines in Vietnam, helping the war victims selflessly, helping the impoverished, being charitable, simple basic contributions and volunteer work. And there are also those who have made their millions and then spend it all back by being charitable.
Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness. ~Bo Bennett
Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. ~Khalil Gibran
Greatness lies in many simple things in life. It really does not take much to do these “Small Greatness” in our daily life.
Here are 20 simple “Small Great things” we can do and make ourselves and the world we live in a better place:
Forgive those who have done wrong. Let each pay for their deeds, learn their own lessons in life from their mistakes. But you forgive!
Inspire someone by your good deeds, actions and character. Do not tell them, but show them and inspire.
- Volunteer your time if you can for a noble cause such as raising funds for cancer, packing food at a food bank etc.
- Try to lessen your hatred and bitterness by being tolerant and accepting of other people, culture, habits, and beliefs.
- Do not hold any prejudice.
- Spending time with your children and do not mind being silly for a while.
- Appreciate someone for doing a good thing. It only encourages them to do more of the same again.
- Take a cause that serves humanity. ie. cleaning the environment, recycle, use less chemicals.
- Write a letter or a note to someone, that will make them feel good about themselves and express the joy and pleasure they bring to you.
- Appreciate the people who love you and do things for you. A simple thank you or a hug can often say a lot.
- Try not to deprive an elderly person of anything they desire for and you can afford to give. Love, time, care, concern and an occational scoop of ice cream. You will not believe the amount of happiness you will bring to them!
- Remember names of the people you interact with and address them by their name next time you meet them.
- Help guide someone through a process to help them establish themselves at work or a new city.
- Do not be too proud or too shy to accept your mistakes and say sorry.
- Visit a ward for terminally ill and ask how you can help by volunteering just 1 hour from your weekend. You will be amazed to see the value you can bring to such wards and people.
- Develop and educate others with balanced and unbiased opinions about issues when they seek your advice.
- Help give some hope in their times of need by sharing your experiences and how you managed to overcome them.
- Donate the things you do not use such as used clothes, toys, furniture etc that are in good condition to the needy regardless of their color, race or religion.
- If you can sponsor a child or a family. The amount of damage caused by the recent wars, famine, natural disasters and political dismay have left many little orphans, families, and people desperate for basic needs and necessities for their simple survival while the world is swamped on paying the debts that fed these very wars, vanity, and corruption.
- Pick up the phone and call that brother, sister, parent or that friends that you have held grudges against and put the senseless anger and bitterness behind you. Start afresh and try to enjoy this short life of yours with less hurt and anger. You will certainly feel lot lighter in your heart and be much happier in your life.
“The first test of a truly great man is his humility.” – John Ruskin
“There are countless ways of achieving greatness, but any road to achieving one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity.” – Buck Rodgers
“The nobler a man, the harder it is for him to suspect inferiority in others.” – Cicero