The "Great" Debate

My husband and I saw Batman: The Dark Knight this week. And while we had some hassles with the theater, the movie itself was excellent.
The very concept of Batman is fantastic. I mean, think about it: an average guy who just wants to do some good in the world disguises himself and, using absolutely no superpowers but simply the power of his mind and his strength, puts himself on the line every day for people he doesn't even know. If that isn't inspiring, I dont' know what is.

I realized during the movie that Batman touches on that unnameable emotion - you know the one. That feeling that you must become more than you are; the notion that each of us has something to offer the world, and if we don't, our lives will remain mundane. 

And of course our thoughts immediately stray to big, noticeable things. Like changing the world. Or becoming famous.

It is difficult, though, to submit to the idea that we may never be "great." I have problems with that one myself at times. After leaving the theater, I just wanted to reach people the way the movie reached me. I want people to know that they can make a difference. How I actually do that, though, may differ greatly from how I imagine doing it. 

A friend reminded me that we don't have to reach for the stars in order to make a difference. Most of the time, it is the little things we do in life that have the power to change the world. And the effects of our actions may not be felt by us in our lifetime, but they may be far-reaching. Just imagine how your story - the way you live your life, the things you do in your spare time, your passions - will affect your grandchildren. Or their grandchildren. Perhaps one day, one of your descendants will be telling a story about how you rescued a kitten from a high tree branch, and it will teach someone to have compassion for all of God's creatures. Perhaps your "greatness" will be simply inspiring someone else to reach for greatness, too.

You could sit around your whole life waiting for greatness to find you. But the thing about great people is that they find their way to greatness. Being an inspiration doesn't happen by sitting and waiting. You have to do something. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words.

So maybe you are destined for fame. Maybe not. But either way, remember that "it is what you do that defines you."