Great spirits have
always found violent opposition from mediocrities.
The latter cannot understand it when a person does not
thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly
and courageously uses his or her
They are the
great people who use earthenware dishes as if they were silver; and they
are equally great who use silverware as if it were
It is the
test of greatness in a person that he or she should be able to see
greatness in others, and give them ungrudging credit for
it. -John Ruskin
There is no
one great man. Only millions of men and women in possession of tiny
pieces of greatness, which when put together, when assembled in the
aggregate make the whole. I am a piece of a very large jigsaw
puzzle. One of the corner pieces. The one you go for
first--important for a time, different from most of the others. But
then, in the end, in the big picture, just one of many.
-Mark Dunn, Ibid: A Novel
Our key to
greatness lies not in our ability to project ourselves to others as if we
are putting ourselves onto a projector and creating an image of ourselves
on a projector screen. Rather, our key to greatness lies in who we are
which we can give to other people in a way that when they walk away from
us, they are able to say in their hearts that they have taken away
something with them quite extraordinary. -C.
people of the earth are but marking stones on the road of humanity.
Greatness of spirit consists
not in soaring high and in pressing forward, but in knowing how to adapt
and limit oneself. -Michel de Montaigne
As human beings, our
greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world--that is the
myth of the atomic age--as in being able to remake
achieve greatness in life by being surrounded by mediocre people
with mediocre values. Choose your company wisely.
person has any greatness in oneself, it comes to light, not in one
flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of one's daily
work. -Beryl Markham, West with the
needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you
The mark of a
great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things
in order to accomplish the vital ones.
-Brandon Sanderson, The Alloy of Law
is revealed not by the lights that shine upon you, but by the
light that shines within you. -Ray Davis
everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because
greatness is determined by service. -Martin
Luther King Jr.
find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife
standing behind him--or so they used to say. It would be
interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers
and husbands behind them.
Sayers, Gaudy Night
so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was
misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and
Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise
spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be
Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
believe that the first test of a great person is his or her
humility. I don't mean by humility, doubt of one's power.
But really great people have a curious feeling that the greatness
is not of them, but through them. And they see something
divine in every other person and are endlessly, foolishly,
incredibly merciful. -John
can be no greatness in things. Things cannot be great.
The only greatness is unselfish love.
great exactly in the degree to which he or she works for the
welfare of one's fellow people.
people never make bad use of their superiority; they see it, and
feel it, and are not less modest; the more they have, the more
they know their own deficiencies. -Jean
greatness? Greatness is when you have found out that you are
not great, but everything else is. -Yogi
Greatness consists not in the
holding of some future office, but really consists in doing great
deeds with little means and the accomplishment of vast purposes
from the private ranks of life. -Russell
people have courage enough to appear as good as they really are.
Most people confuse greatness with power, despite the fact that
greatness has nothing to do with power. -Julius
is a transitory experience. It is never consistent. It
depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind.
The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the
myth he or she is in. That person must reflect what is
projected upon him or her. -Frank Herbert,
greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and
goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults
and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.
great, be whole: do not exaggerate or exclude anything of
what is yours. Be entire in everything. Put all that
you are into the least that you do. Be like the full moon,
living aloft and shining everywhere. -Fernando
first element of greatness is fundamental humbleness (this should
not be confused with servility); the second is freedom from self;
the third is intrepid courage, which, taken in its widest
interpretation, generally goes with truth; and the fourth—the
power of love—although I have put it last, is the rarest.