I’ve been thinking about the number of “great” people that we’ve lost over the past few years, from Nelson Mandela, Shirley Temple, Casey Kasem, Ann Davis, Paul Walker, Joyce Brothers, Abigail Van Buren, and Maya Angelou just to name a few. These are people that the world remembers fondly from their youth or what they’ve been told or shown about them. In this day and age it seems like there are fewer people we would call “great” and mourn for their loss. It’s not because people are any less important or real or amazing, but because everyone is that much more capable and willing to share with the world exactly how amazing they are.
This becomes a good and a bad thing for those who want to be remembered as people like Dear Abby, America’s Little Darling or the man who transformed South Africa. Instead, more often than not we’re only remembered by those closest to us who knew us most personally. So what is one to do when they want to be famous only to be faced with the odds we’ve just discussed? I would do what each of those people did initially: do what they could for the people closest to them.
We’ve gotten so focused on being known around the world because we’re so easily able to access everyone else thanks to airplanes and countless technological innovations. But the reality of being known around the world and making the big impact that used to be made by people is less likely because we’re all better about shining our light.
So what if instead of conquering the world, we set out to make the impact we can where we can do the biggest amount of good? The good news is that today we don’t have to fix the whole world, there are lots of people around the world ready and willing to do their part where they are. Everyone may not know your name, so make sure that those who matter, those who care about what you care about, do.