Good vs. Great

Life would be a lot easier if epiphanies were a solid punch to the balls. Unfortunately, they’re typically a bit more subtle, like a “hangry” woman who’s starving but refuses to admit it.

Tonight my own mental hunger manifested itself into a concise yet profound arrangement. “Good, not great, Morris” became my momentary mantra as I watched Russell Crow deliberate over slaughtering two newborn babies in Hollywoods’ latest biblical epic; Noah. Lord Of The Rings-esque, ark-building, rock monsters aside, the movie grades out as a solid two-star offering, much like a warm roadside motel that doesn’t give you crabs.

Inspired by Russell’s show of mammoth benevolence (ultimately sparing the lives of two hour-old, twin girl infants), I began contemplating whether I’d be better served to start concentrating on being good, rather than becoming great. Truthfully, I’ve spent the majority of my life believing that I’m destined to do great things – while simultaneously expending .05% of the effort required to accomplish anything above average… but, who knows, is it possible that all those lazy mornings and drunken evenings have actually served as my protector?

Case in point. Sunday after the Michael Franti concert.

Case in point. Me, seeking shelter Saturday after the Michael Franti concert.

After all, chasing greatness is akin to putting faith in a false prophet, right? As alluring and fulfilling as the relationship is, you’re destined to wind up feeling empty in the end. Not because you’ll fail, but because you’ll inevitably miss out on everything that’s truly important in life, while scrambling your way to the top of whatever mountain it is you’re hoping to conquer.

Russell Crow’s magnificent man-beard is starting to make me think the secret to life lies in finding meaning in everyday actions and encounters, as opposed to dreaming of and working towards one seminal moment of greatness. Duhhhh, you say? While I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an idiot, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

If you’re anything like me and you long to be recognized as great, be careful that your search for validation doesn’t blind you to what you love most and ultimately keep you from being happy. Tonight I’m left pondering how my life would change if I began focusing on being good, rather than becoming great. In the end, isn’t it more important to be remembered for the goodness you imparted to others than the greatness you erected for yourself?

Each of us builds an ark over the course of our lifetime. What do you plan to fill yours with?

m.w. 3/14

5 thoughts on “Good vs. Great

  1. and who is it that decides the difference between good and great? at what point would you declare that you have crossed the line and entered ‘greatness’? what would it take for you to decide that you have accomplished great things? could it be you have already . . .

    disclaimer – i’m striving for mediocrity and am quite positive i would not recognize my own greatness, or goodness for that matter, if it slammed me in the face.

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