What Is Greatness?

Weirdly enough, when I think of greatness, I think of Tony the Tiger going, “They’re grrrrreat!” when referring to Frosted Flakes. The world (or at least our American society) seems to think of greatness in this way, too. Something that stands out from the rest, something to encourage others to consume, something that’s well known, well worth the money, well worth the time invested, and so on. You’re great if you are successful, if you manage to overcome odds and climb to the top of the pile.

Can you be great on the bottom of the pile? Can one of the “least of these” be great? I think so.

Greatness can be loud and shared with others (the world’s way), and greatness can be more unassuming and self-contained (God’s way). To me, to be great is to influence others with your actions more than with your words, because people will discount what you say when you start to do something that contradicts it. To be great is to be humble, to do the right thing without expecting a reward or praise, to live an ordinary life with no grandiose plans, to let others have the spotlight.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. —C.S. Lewis

4 thoughts on “What Is Greatness?

  1. One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes! It was such an eye-opener when I read it. I get the feeling after reading your post that I ought to reread his books every so often. He had such a brilliant mind, and yet so down to earth.

    Greatness, to me, is something that is impressive in its own right. Greatness doesn’t come from external approval, but rather, is a manifestation of the highest morals and ideals. To borrow the term, “greatness comes from within.” Being humble in this day and age goes against the contemporary “me first” mindset. Thank you for the healthy and necessary reminder of humility, and bringing greatness back to the basics!


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