What makes someone great? What creates greatness? Do leaders ask to be great? Do they desire to be great? Or do they come from ordinary stalk and somehow make the decision that something has to be done. Do they wake up and realize that if they don’t act, things will get worse?

I venture to guess that most great leaders in history rose up out of dire circumstances. It was out of the trials and fires and ugliness of their circumstances they grew strong. They did not choose to be great, but in tough times they chose to do something great.

Granted that a case can be made for those that plot a course to be great, but it’s those that did not start out that way that we truly hold up as great. Whether by accidental invention or by incidental responses, the stories we read of great leaders are interesting to us because of what they have gone through. And yet, many of us; no most of us would not choose their path for ourselves. Who would chose economic suffering for themselves? Or disease or oppression? But here is where the furnace refines those who become great.

Look at the great depression, out of that came the greatest generation. Following worst economic times come the best economic times. Following oppression comes liberty? Why?

Greatness is in you. You have the capacity to be great. You may not know it and you may not feel it. And you probably don’t recognize it. For those that do great things, rarely do they recognize it as great. Their tasks are as minor as yours to start. Dr. King’s first speech was not the crowds on the steps in DC, and Washington didn’t start out as a General, and the list would continue on as we look upon the stories of those we now call great.

It starts with little things. And it’s these little things that compound and are refined. And not doing things is as important to greatness, by not choosing the easy path, not resting when there is work to do. There is plenty to not do from giving up to selling out.

I’m not one who can speak of greatness personally. I am just an ordinary person who has fought some challenging battles. I wonder an I think about what I do and am supposed to do. I’m probably a lot like you. And I know a lot of you who will read this are doing so when you are discouraged.

So today, remember this one thing; if you aspire to greatness or if you just aspire to be a little more – there is no difference. That is greatness. That inspiration is a gift; and you must act on it. Whether in business, in family, in love, in music, in art, in politics and in faith; do the thing and do it well. Don’t be satisfied with less than you are called to do. For some, you are called to act out in greatness; it’s your turn to do something about it. And the rest of you, stay on the couch and change the channel. Maybe it’s best if you just stay where you are at.

-d