Consider the term 'great'

By Robert I. Laitres

Dear Editor:

Arguing in abstracts and superlatives is not something that is at all convincing to some of us, as it is all too frequently used to conceal very base, selfish and self-serving motives. Two of those terms encountered are "hero" and "great."

Now, perhaps some like to be called a hero, but those who do are really doing nothing but demanding praise and admiration from others. Real heroes, some of us have found, are quite reticent about being referred to as such, as what they did they considered nothing but their obligation and duty to do at that time, and in that particular situation.

We then encounter the term "great"; i.e. "Make America great again," a mantra used by one of the candidates in the last election. When some of us encounter that word "great," we begin to wonder what they mean by "great" and if they actually want to be "great" or merely want to be considered "great." When looking at what they put forward as evidence of "greatness," it is abundantly clear that the case is the latter.

Some of us have encountered many individuals who have impressed us as "great" individuals, but that had absolutely nothing to do with titles, positions or money, but rather because they did what they needed to do when it needed doing, and on a daily basis. They never point backwards to what they had done at any time in the past. "Look at me and see what I did" is not their way of thinking. How they think is rather, "What do I need to do, and what needs to be done, today and tomorrow?"

History has amply documented that those who are constantly looking backwards to what they have done, and attempting to live from past accomplishments, are actually consuming the present and the future. They are no different than a farmer who, having raised a bumper corn crop one year, does nothing the following year and ends up eating the seed corn.

Robert I. Laitres