To quote Russell Conwell form “Acres of Diamonds”:
Greatness consists not in the holding of some future office, but really consists in doing great deeds with little means and the accomplishment of vast purposes from the private ranks of life. To be great at all one must be great here, now, where you live.
He who can give to where they live, better streets and better sidewalks, better schools and more colleges, more happiness and more civilization, more of God, he will be great anywhere. Let every man or woman here remember this, that if you wish to be great at all, you must begin where you are and what you are now.
He that can give to his city any blessing, he who can be a good citizen while he lives here, he that can make better homes, he that can be a blessing whether he works in the shop or sits behind the counter or keeps house, whatever be his life, he who would be great anywhere must first be great in his own town.
I believe Russell Conwell was correct, greatness begins in you now, where you are now, with the skills you have now and the resources you have now. To become great all you need to do is ask yourself what you can being doing now that will make a difference in YOUR life and in OTHERS lives.
All that is needed are little things done every day that build to become great things. A painting wasn’t just thought of and then completed, a sculpture was just thought of and then appeared, and a building wasn’t just drawn and then grew from the ground overnight. Every great thing, every great person began from the basics and the simple and then built upon day by day, month by month and year by year.
Who do we think of as being great people? It is usually those that have left a strong positive effect on the world. Those that leave large negative effects on the world are thought of as tyrants and despised. Which would you rather be known for?
It doesn’t take much to be remembered as a great person, help those in need, give of your time or money, or do good for those that are in truly need of it.
But to be truly great, and be among the greatest of the great is to do all that you can and remain anonymous. WHAT you say? How does that make me great!? Being truly great is being great in your own mind and heart, to know you have done something not for the recognition of do it, but for the goodness it has done.
If you seek greatness in other’s eyes then you are seeking their approval and this is not the act of a great person. Greatness is doing something that you know is good for the sole purpose of doing good.
Remember true greatness comes from within and begins with what you have, who you are and where you are now. Becoming a great person is done for who you become and what you become and the person it makes of you.
Do it for doing, not for showing.
James Darren Davis