Greatness

These days, there are four words that are a sure way to get a reaction: “make America great again.” What kind of reaction? The “whys” “whats” and “wherefores” of the reaction, well, that is for another time and place. Like many slogans it is meant to point to some narrative beyond itself, to a larger story, to provide meaning, purpose, and destiny to this life.

It seems to me that at the heart of it all is the word “great.” We use it a lot. “Have a great day.” “That’s great news!” “She a great person.” There are lots of other uses, but what makes a person great? Many times, we borrow the personal attribute and assign it to an individual because of their actions and achievements. Some call Tom Brady of the New England Patriots football team the GOAT – greatest of all time. While his on-field performance would certainly qualify him for the moniker, GOAT, in the realm and history of football quarterbacks, do those accomplishments make him great? Michael Phelps is a candidate for the GOAT of swimming. But again, the same question lingers. Continue reading