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shermanspeaks Greatness

Written by Jeff Sherman. First published in Southern Utah Neighbors Magazine 

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” –William Shakespeare

To achieve greatness is noteworthy indeed. To inspire greatness in others is an act of bravery and nobility. Brave leaders create leaders. They purposely see the greatness within those whom they serve.

Each of us has someone in our life who believes in us. We know from personal experience the emotion and drive such belief can stir. It enlivens within us an unconquerable zeal to face challenges and adversities.

Pause for a moment. Reflect upon those who have unfailingly seen the greatness within you. It is simple to recognize them. They have been there at critical junctures to lift and support you. How have they helped you become better?

In early January this year, a young college girl sat in her SUV waiting to enter traffic from a snowy parking lot near a university campus. Compassion filled her heart as her eye caught hold of a forlorn man near her same age underdressed trudging along an uncleared path. He wore no coat. His shoes were icy and his loneliness frigid. She wondered what had caused the sorrows in his face.

A tall athletic student handsome and confident came marching down the same sidewalk toward the weakened man. Our young driver also noticed him! As the student neared the man, he smiled warmly and then stopped abruptly. At first the man did not look up, but as he heard a kind greeting, his head slowly rose. “Hello sir, may I offer you my coat?” asked the boy calmly already removing it from his back as he awaited the response. The man began to quake tears filling his eyes. The boy held open the down-filled coat as the man reached into its arms. What happened next lifted the young driver to such a height that she began to cry. Smiling genuinely, the athlete began unlacing his winter boots laughing and conversing with the man. He then traded shoes with him lacing the boots upon upon his feet and standing him up. As the student removed his beanie from his head and placed it upon the weary traveler, the man broke down and embraced him in gratitude. Words were not exchanged nor were they needed.

As the young driver pulled away from the lot, she knew she had witnessed heroism. She had seen greatness in two men. You too are a brave leader. Inspire greatness.

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