Defining Greatness

great2“I’m great.”  That’s a standard response whenever you ask someone, “How are you today?”  It’s kind of funny that we throw around the word “great” so easily.  Of course, in this context, it’s an acceptable response.  No one actually means “I’m the best in my field.”  It would be cool to assume that’s what the person meant, though.  Be like, “Really?  You’re great?  What’s so great about you?  Jeez.  All I was doing was inquiring about how life is treating you and then you get all cocky on me?”  Most likely, he’d rapidly walk away, in a great hurry.

So, we use “great” a lot.  It is a universal concept. Though maybe it does say something about the hemispheres’ value systems that the Great Soul in the East (Mahatma Gandhi) is a man who led India to freedom and The Great One (Wayne Gretzky) in the West is a hockey player.

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5 thoughts on “Defining Greatness

  1. Just listened to President Obama on Bill Simmons’ podcast:

    Though he’s talking about Best instead of Greatest, here are the factors he lists from the below transcript:

    – Talent
    – Will to Win
    – Longevity
    – Rising to the Occasion
    – Grace
    – Charisma

    BS: So who — because we’re running out of time — quickly, who do you think is the best basketball player ever?

    Obama: You got to go with Jordan. That’s —

    BS: Is that a Chicago pick? Or an NBA —

    Obama: No, no, no, that’s an NBA pick. You’ve never had a combination of talent and fierce will to win and longevity and rising to the occasion. I haven’t seen it. You’ve got guys who are comparable in terms of talent. I mean, I think LeBron is as talented as Michael is. I think you’ve got guys like Bird who had that — Bird or Magic who had that same will to win. But combining that package, and then just always being there at the moment, very rarely not — hitting that shot like Utah right at the end, right?

    BS: It makes me mad when people compare whoever to Jordan. It’s like, let’s see somebody win the six titles and own the league like Jordan did.

    Obama: And the grace with which he played. I mean, there was a charisma to him on the court that you could not not watch him when he was on the court. Unbelievable.

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