Hello everyone. Today I have a question for you. How many times have you known greatness? It’s a word that brings to mind one seen as an achiever or some leader that’s left his or her mark or a best-selling author or inventor or, in most cases one who champions a cause that benefits all mankind. But greatness is an interesting word and over the years, I’ve discovered it can be applied a many times, to borrow a phrase, where some live lives of quiet desperation. And there is a very good chance you know someone to whom this word applies and you don’t even know it. First give some thought to the people in your life, from the folks you see every day to the ones you only encounter from time to time. Now go through the list, Notice anything unusual? No? Alright, let’s try something. Go through that list again and try to figure out how many volunteer some or all of their free time doing for others, actually bringing ‘hands on help’ to those who need it most. Think about it. Anyone on your list catch your attention? I thought so. And there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions more just like that one. Isn’t that giving of one’s self, not a form of quiet greatness? There are many more examples. How about that single mother working two or three jobs, doing the best she can to provide for and protect her family? Wouldn’t that qualify as a form of greatness? How many just like her do we pass by every day without knowing? What about that guy with the serious health problems who can’t afford the greed of the drug companies but still shows up for work every day cause he believes in trying to take care of his family? Or the woman who volunteers her time to fix a meal for an older neighbor or the fellow with no warm coat cause he gave his to someone he met who didn’t have one? They’re out there you know. Quietly reaching out to total strangers.
You see them every day. They open doors for people they don’t know, help move trash to the curb for pickup for a neighbor, buy a burger and a coffee for someone down on their luck sitting in the parking lot of a convenience store or maybe just taking off their hat when they enter a restaurant. Simple kindness. Doesn’t that qualify as greatness in its own way? Doesn’t that speak to all of us, saying in effect, “Come on, we’re all in this together. I can’t fix it all but I can do this.” In a perfect world, these things wouldn’t have to happen. But ours isn’t a perfect world. And too there is a mistaken belief that popular indicates talent when more often than not, the exact opposite is true. Shallow, lame and silly come to mind with the real housewives of somewhere and of course, following social media is a symptom not a cure.
There are needs out there, loneliness, empty lives, broken windows and hearts. And there are men and women who sometimes quietly pick up the slack when they can. They’re all around you and to me it seems they’ve come to symbolize something important and lasting. I call it a quiet greatness. Look for it, you won’t be disappointed. I’m Sam Jones and that’s my perspective.