By Oscar Wolfe
What is greatness? We all say “this is great” or “that is great” a dozen times a day, but what does greatness really mean?
I happen to really like the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I can remember my dad showing me a Twilight Zone episode on the topic. It was about a woman that looked beautiful to us. However, in her world, everyone kind of looked like a zombie pig. So, they thought that she was horrifically ugly. Basically, the episode shows that beauty is completely an opinion.
I think that many things are in the eye of the beholder. For instance, greatness. I don’t know about you, but for me, greatness is all about rising up. I like the people that start with nothing, and get to something. For instance Malala Yousafzai rose from cowering in war-torn Pakistan, to becoming an international symbol of peace. Alexander Hamilton rose from being a homeless orphan in the West Indies, to becoming an American war hero and the first Secretary of Treasury. Even Napoleon Bonaparte rose from being a bullied Corsican to being the greatest French emperor of all time.
But if being great means rising up, does that mean that people that are born with power and/or riches can’t be great? I mean, who would want to hear about some wealthy American talk about Middle Eastern issues when a poor Middle Easterner is there to talk about Middle Eastern issues? Would Malala be great if she hadn’t been put into such extreme circumstances? I think yes—being shot in the face made Malala famous, but she has a special ability to lead that would have come out, even if she hadn’t nearly lost her life.
Anyone can be great simply by trying to do good things. Anyone can rise up just by doing something good. Even if you don’t become an international icon, Secretary of the Treasury, or the Emperor of France, you can still be great. You can be great at anything. I’m hoping that I can be great with this blog.
Every day, there are people that perform good little things that barely get noticed. But a hundred little things end up adding up. So yes, anyone can be great.