Greatness: An achievable goal

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jeffrey L. Neuberger
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing chaplain
I'm an early baby-boomer; baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. For that reason, I'm more familiar with the adjective "great" which often described noble men and women from many walks of life. I'm not sure what the most popular adjective is these days. Awesome? Phenomenal?

Greatness can refer to authority, reputation, size, even superiority. If you follow the chain of meanings in a Thesaurus you will come across "magnanimous," i.e. big hearted, great hearted, unselfish.

I once read a story about the famed actor, David Niven. (Again, my baby boomer roots are showing.) A reporter commented on the actor's suave and refined manner, and asked Niven how he developed such style. The actor responded with this anecdote: As a child his parents would recite the Lord's Prayer and he would join in. For years he thought the prayer began "Our Father, Who art a Niven." As a child he sensed he was very, very important because God was a Niven.

How very important it is to grow up with a sense of worth!

A tourist once stopped a local resident and asked, "Were there any famous people born here?" The resident replied, "Nope; only babies." I believe we all grow into our greatness as we make the right choices in life, as we develop our character and learn to live unselfishly.

It is said that each of us has three names: the name we inherit, the name our parents give us, and the name we make for ourselves. This "great" opportunity lies before us every day!