Yes, You Can Be Great!
By Steve Goodier
A school music teacher received this essay from an eight-year-old student
concerning Johann Sebastian Bach: "He was a GREAT composer. He had 20 children
and had an old spinster in the attic to practice on."
Now, I don't know the exact number of children he had, as many did not survive.
Nor do I know what he kept in the attic. But the question I have is this: do you
believe you should be great?
Not all of us can be great at what we do -- music, teaching, research,
carpentry, sales, etc., -- but we can all become great individuals. It's about
being great at who we are, great as human beings.
Author James Michener learned about the importance of greatness on a stormy
night in the South Pacific. His plane was trying desperately to land on the
Tontouta airstrip but could not do so. After several attempts in the dark of
night, his knuckles were white with fear. When they finally landed safely,
Michener went out and walked the length of the airstrip, looking at the dim
outlines of the mountains they had so narrowly missed. He wrote this:
"And as I stood there in the darkness I caught a
glimpse of the remaining years of my life and I swore an
oath when peace came, if I survived, I would live the
rest of my years 'as if I were a great man.' I did not
presume to think that I would be a great man. I have
never thought in those terms, but I could conduct myself
as if I were. I would adhere to my basic principles. I
would bear public testimony to what I believed. I would
be a better man. I would help others. I would truly
believe and act as if all men were my brothers. And I
would strive to make whatever world in which I found
myself a better place. In the darkness a magnificent
peace settled over me, for I saw that I could actually
attain each of those objectives, and I never looked
"Two immediate consequences: I started the next day to draft
the book TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC. And shortly
thereafter my entire staff, flying back to Tontouta, hit one of those
shadowy mountains and all were killed. I'd had cause to
be white-knuckled." *
Do you believe you should be great? If greatness is a life that adheres to basic
principles, a life of service to others and one dedicated to the betterment of
all, then your answer is simple. We can each be great individuals and, in fact,
should strive to be. For greatness comes from a dedication to help, not from
mere accomplishment, no matter the magnitude.
Do you believe you should be great? What step will you take today?
* Michener quote comes from "OUT OF THE BLUE: Delight Comes Into Our Lives," by
Mark Victor Hansen & Barbara Nichols with Patty Hansen (HarperCollins, 1996).
Publisher@LifeSupportSystem.com is a professional speaker, consultant and
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