Greatness, or Not.

Comparing myself to others is always treacherous.  When I’m head-to-head with Oprah, it’s a killer.

I watched her yesterday on Facebook Live,  and was struck again by her certainty.  She knows her purpose.  She knows her place in life.  And she seems to fulfill her stated purpose with each word that she speaks.

I am inspired by her message and at the same time intimidated by her clarity.  I know my mission in life.  I finally put it in words about ten years ago and it still resonates with me.  But it is a grand overview of my scope.  It sets my moral and personal compass and gives me intention for my journey, and still it doesn’t lay out my plan for every day.  I don’t go to bed at night saying, “Well, I did it today.  I lived my purpose.”

And what about “greatness”?

Well, my greatness will remain a personal thing. I think Oprah is right on when she say that we can each live our own best life.  For me that does not include fame and great riches.

There have been times in my life that I felt my own “rightness” in the moment.   But most are just passing occurrences in a day that goes by without notice, let alone glory.  Yet every movement sends ripples across the water.

When I held my babies, singing them songs and reading stories from Dr. Seuss, I was preparing their future.

When I chose honesty over avoidance it corrected my course.

The man who stopped and changed my tire changed my day.

My husband and I shared in our life purpose when I offered his help to an elderly woman whose weeds were taking over her yard, and he carefully listened to her complicated instructions to do it her way.

Maybe just by driving the kids to school, I left my daughter-in-law free to have great impact on someone unknown to me.

I do know that there are myriad moments that make up my life.  If I make a wrong move, I hope to correct it with the next move.  That’s my purpose: Remembering my mission and living my life with integrity and loving kindness.

If I could look back from the grave and see that my great-great-grandchild lived a life of public “greatness”, would I feel as if my own life and that of my children, and my children’s children had been better than I thought?  Would I have been a better me if I spawned an Oprah?


Or maybe if get up each day and set my intention to enjoy being myself it will all work out exactly as it should.  Wouldn’t that be “great”?



  1. I just want to pay my respects for mentioning Oprah in this post. I find that I like posts 76% more when Oprah is mentioned. Seriously though, if you can articulate and live out your purpose, who needs to be Oprah? Oprah has her job and you have yours. They are equally important. And by the way, you both seem to be doing a damn fine job!


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