The Tragedy in Greatness
Everyone wants to be good at something. But goodness isn’t enough for some people. They’re out for greatness. Good is the enemy.
I often wonder how goodness can be looked down upon. People don’t mind sharing when they consider themselves good. It’s as if they want to give it away. It renews itself tenfold. Thousands of people are being good right now. There’s not that much room for greatness.
Greatness is paraded abound as a superior desire, but it strips you from yourself. You let the glory and fandom and accolades define you. You become this “thing”. You become this sport, this quarterback, this writer, this beauty. Somewhere, sometime, your performance will fade, and then it will have to stop. A lifetime of applause will ring in your ear, and everything by comparison will seem so empty. Greatness can only leave you as less than.
|photo credit: touchdown.it|
When you can no longer win and raise trophies, will you know what do with yourself?
There is an anxiousness about giving up greatness. Most rather it be taken away. You become accustomed to staying great. There is nothing of use to you that doesn’t make you more useful. Your life has a laser-tipped focus. When you can’t continue according to plan, this focus becomes a detriment. There isn’t anything more to you.
Everyday people know how to deal with setbacks. Getting injured or losing are part of life when you’re regular. You can get on with things, continue. Life almost stops when winners can’t compete to win. When you are what your body can do, injury equates to worthlessness.
Greatness sets you up for the fall.
They say legends never die, but there is an irrelevance to once great people that is even worse then death. At least in death there is an outpouring of respect and remembrances. (I dare not call it love. Love is what you do in the lonely years before the funeral. Love after death is just meaningless ritual.)
The true tragedy of greatness is the firmness of the belief that the best of everything is behind you. Left alone in the alternate reality you created, the normalcy you long for is the same you belittled and rejected. Great doesn’t mingle with good. It’s unwilling to downgrade. At least alone it can justify it’s superiority. The saddest life in the world is the one lived in the past, reveling in who they used to be. There is true brokenness in wishing to trade tomorrow for yesterday.
|photo credit: sports.yahoo.com
“former NBA superstar..”
Greatness is the enemy of happy.
Of satisfaction and satiation and contentment. All the things that tell you you’re sufficient and complete. Greatness comes from a nagging inadequacy. It makes you afraid of yourself if you stop. It assumes you can’t be enough.
It makes good frustrating.
Honor and celebrate being good. Being great has its afflictions.
There is much more to learn from goodness than from greatness, and the good are much more apt to wave you over to see.