I had to think about that.
At first...blank. Sure, there are people who aspire to greatness but is there any one person, right now, who is truly great?
A politician? A movie star? A Nobel prize winner? Not really. I'm usually more interested in the stage crew than the one in the spotlight.
Then I thought of categories. The first two that came to mind were nurses and teachers. I once saw a nurse do something that was a like a secret between us and her goal was simply to maintain the patient's dignity, a patient who will never know what she did. And of course, Mr. Thomas, my Grade 5 teacher, who spent an entire afternoon teaching me to skate, a parcel of time I open again and again. His actions taught me how important it is to attend to people, to say, I see you and you are important.
Although I'm inspired by people from my past, the question remained incomplete, like a puzzle with one missing piece: who in the world right now is truly great?
And then I wondered, how do I define greatness? I've always loved artists and writers and architects and engineers and filmmakers and carpenters and chefs. In other words, I love people who make candy out of sugar and sugar out of candy. For me, greatness is creativity. It's problem solving, it's chutzpah, it's moxie, it's perseverance, it's overcoming obstacles. It's thinking realized. That sort of greatness so inspires me. I always wish I were more like those people. And there are so many I could name but....
And then I remembered Amy Purdy. Her story and the way she told it moved me. She's just an ordinary young woman who decided how tall she wanted to be. What's more creative than that?
Who do you think, right now, is truly great?