John F. Kennedy was great. Martin Luther King, Jr. was great. Barak Obama is great. These people and others like them were made great by their ability to see and to act upon what others can’t see. If you are like me, one day you would like your peers to say “that was a great person.” If so, the question we must ask ourselves is, what do we see?
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with life. By the time you pay this month’s bills, next month’s bills are delivered to your mailbox or your inbox. In the midst of a good week, a tragedy announces itself. You wake up one morning with a pain that you did not go to sleep with. After working for the company for fifteen years, it announces layoffs for a substantial number of employees.
Life will bring moments that can make us wish we could head to the mountains and never come back. Unfortunately, for too many of us, we do exactly that by turning to drugs or alcohol or watching television for a large portion of the day. We feel insufficient and lost. We become desperate and discouraged. Suicide becomes an option. We kill ourselves, while yet we live.
Still, in the midst of all this misery, we sense that this is not where we belong. We can do better than this. The truth is that great people also wrestled with our same types of issues. They were not all wealthy, healthy, tragedy free and loved. In fact, they faced great obstacles in the worst of their times and were able to overcome them. In each of their successes, there is a lesson for us.
President Kennedy, Dr. King and President Obama, as well as other great men and women of history were able to see what others could not see. They also had the faith, courage and determination to act upon what they saw. One saw a man walking on the moon, so to achieve the unseen, he launched a space center. Less than a decade later, a man reached, landed and walked there, fulfilling the dream.
Another man saw equality of rights for all races through non-violence and started marching in the streets. Dogs could not stop him. A fire hose could not stop him. Criticism, hatred, anger and racism could not stop him. A bullet killed him, but that did not stop him. Today, equal rights is the law of the land for all races.
Another man saw the possibility of becoming president even though none of his race ever received a major political party nomination to run for the highest office in the land. Although an overwhelming percentage of his race did not think he could win, he persisted with what he saw. He did not give up and he became the 44th President of United States of America.
With your inner eyes there ought to be some new future visible. If you don’t see anything, then it’s time to start dreaming-dreaming about a college degree or owning your own business or becoming your company’s chief executive officer. How about dreaming of becoming the mayor of your city, or the governor or senator of your state? Maybe you should dream about finding the cure for cancer or discovering how to use water to fuel our automobiles.
Greatness requires that you not only see what others can’t see, but that you act upon it. That means you must turn those dreams into reality. Greatness is not necessarily fame. There are many great people we will never hear of or read about; however, they made their dreams a reality.
Greatness is within us; it requires courage, determination and insight. Quiet yourself down enough to get pass the noise of life and find the destiny that has been deposited within you. Embrace it and begin moving forward toward implementation. As you take one step, provision will be made for the next step. Remember, you need both to dream and to act upon that dream. A dream without action is a good night’s sleep and action without a dream or a vision is a circle. You are going nowhere.
What do you see? If, with your inner eye you see a destiny or a calling and you can act upon it, greatness can be yours with your next steps forward. Make sure those steps are ones of courage and determination. You will know that you are on the right path when you soon find yourself walking alone. Now-what do you see?