Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Pursuit of Greatness


Greetings all,

Sorry I've been so quiet on here lately.  I've really been buckling down on trying to wrap up this new book called the "Human Side of Christ."  It should be releasing this Spring and the opportunity to pre-order should be available within the next month.

Now that I've shamelessly plugged myself, on to the thought of the day.  What exactly is it that determines greatness?  I got to thinking about that recently as our society seems so ready to place that distinction on so many people for such a variety of reasons.  We have great singers, great athletes, and great actors but do we have very many great people?  It seems like we will often take one attribute that a person possesses and use that to construct a framework to determine they are a great person.  I would suppose the pressure of this might be immense for many and perhaps that is why we see so many crack under its weight.  I'm afraid we have become so good at worshiping attributes that we no longer celebrate character.

Can you think of anyone in our culture who is celebrated for simply being a great human being?  I suppose if I took some time to really ponder it I might be able to come up with one or two, but immediately, nobody comes to mind.  What kind of a message does this send to our younger generations?  Doesn't it tell them that if you want to be celebrated you should just work really hard at honing a single attribute rather than building yourself into a well rounded person of integrity?

Just a thought to ponder.  I understand we like to be wowed by those of us with great skill.  The other day I happen to come across a hall of fame baseball player.  He is known for being very cold and rude to people yet he is worshiped by millions because he can throw a ball.  I fear for our culture as we continue to send our kids the wrong messages.  We tell them to be good student and to work at becoming good fathers and mothers someday but then we turn on the television and worship people who have abandoned their children and destroyed their marriages.  We give them a pass simply because they are unusually good at something.  We teach kids that greatness is hard to obtain and that few will find it, yet, who among us is not capable of becoming a good and decent person?  If greatness was determined by character, we would all have a shot at it.  It would not be solely available to those born with some sort of unique skill or talent.

Ultimately greatness is something that is determined and bestowed by society, but what happens with the society that bestows that greatness on others is no longer great itself?  Food for thought........