as i sit here watching the olympic opening ceremony i can't help but wonder...are we all destined for greatness? do we each hold something special within us that makes us stand apart from others? while we can't all be olympians, noble prize winners or world leaders; is it possible for us to make a difference within our own lives? do we each have the ability to be great at something or, for most of us, is life more about simply living and finding small ways to contribute? honestly, i think it's both...mostly because of perception. while i struggle often with the need to know i matter, that i make a difference, that i'm somehow...special; i know i'm truly just a normal person. i can't imagine doing anything overly spectacular with my life at this point, but instead am choosing to focus on smaller ways i feel i can make an impact...mostly through words. so, maybe, the question is...how do we each define greatness and how can we create a life that exemplifies that? we each have gifts, most of which give us the ability to do something for someone else. but, do we choose to use them for that purpose?
i am thinking a lot about my gran right now...in a couple of days she will have been gone for three years and i find myself missing her more as the time goes by. she was an amazing lady...someone who lived her life with ease and grace...she always gave more than she had and was always quick to make those around her feel special. but, if you asked her, she always said she wasn't smart, she wasn't anything special; that she was a simple woman who was merely taking care of her family and trying to live her life for God. i remember always feeling sad when i would hear her say these things because, to me, she was amazing...to me, she could do anything - well, anything that seemed to really matter. she wrote letters from the heart and baked incredible pies and visited neighbors and always extended a hand to a new face at church and sewed doll clothes for us and taught us to play solitaire...she taught us to love everyone and judge no one...she showed us the power of love and acceptance through food and that there was room for everyone at her table...and, ultimately, she showed us how to be an unconditional presence in the lives of those we love, asking little in return yet giving whatever it took to make someone feel valued, important, special. she never ran for office, never won any race, never solved some world problem; yet, to me, she lived a life of greatness.
what is your gift? how do you define greatness? are you able to see ways you can be great or do you minimize your abilities and not make the effort to do something that, to someone else, could mean more than you may ever know? mother teresa always said that the greatest hunger, the greatest poverty comes from the lack of love, not food. she encouraged us to start at home, to love those closest to us first, and to offer something as simple as a smile to a stranger and that if you can't feed 100 people, feed one - make a difference to one person, love one person and that love will spread. such a simple act of greatness...yet something each one of us can do with very little effort...if only we choose to.