I always say I’m not great. I don’t think I’m a bad person. I just don’t think I’m a great one. But as I was thinking about this, I asked myself, “What is greatness?” I’m not great in the sense that people will read about me hundreds of years from now. But I think that 100 years from now, there will still be people alive that I will have influenced.
No, I’m not great in the sense of changing the world. But I do a pretty great job of changing individuals’ lives. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying it because maybe greatness is a choice. I can’t make the choice to alter history, but I can make the choice to influence someone for the better. I was not born to be an Albert Einstein or a Winston Churchill or an Amelia Earhart or even a Temple Grandin. But I was born to be a Julia Wagstaff, and I’m starting to realize that Julia Wagstaff is pretty great.
What I hope you realize from this is not that I am a great person, but that you are, or at least can be, a great person. It comes down to our choices. Do we choose to do what we know is right, even when it’s not fun or popular or easy? Do we choose the little choices every day to make someone’s life better?
I watched this video that a friend posted about regrets. It showed a chalkboard that asked people to write down their biggest regret. As I watched, I tried to think of my biggest regret. I couldn’t think of anything. I just don’t believe in keeping regrets. I don’t believe in holding on to things I wish I could change; so I work hard to either change my regrets or forgive myself or do the things I know I might regret not doing later.
Do I consider myself to be great? No. I’m a work in progress and I mess up a lot and I don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time and most of the time, I’m really scared. But… I try. Sometimes that’s all greatness is, trying when everything says to give up because you’re not good enough. In that sense, I feel like I can be great. And you can too.