I decided to put it here, 'cause... it's midnight? (Yeah! Take that! Validated!)
The word liters our most common sentences.
“I’m doing great.”
“It was a great movie.”
“Oh great, now what?”
It is on the standard-issue list of basic English vocabulary. It was one of the first words to earn a text-message abbreviation.
“U r crzy! Lol! That soundz g8!”
It is the word we use to describe the man responsible for the growth of the Roman Empire, and the time period that drained pockets and the spirits of people throughout the world.
It is a compliment.
It is an adjective.
It is quite a lot of things.
But what is it? What makes something qualify as great?
In creations of the arts, in discoveries of science, in defining-times of history, the things we consider significant have recurring themes.
The Mona Lisa.
The name of a great artwork spikes the attention of our memories. The names are familiar to us, and in many cases we can see a famous painting, or hear a famous composition in our minds, subconsciously reminding us what the piece is. The work becomes an essential part of our culture, even after centuries of new creations. It stays with us.
Whether commonplace or incomprehensible, our lives are affected by the great discoveries of science. Revolutionary thinkers develop ideas that change our lives. We accept the theories. We take advantage of the wisdom. We enjoy the comforts.
The Revolutionary War.
The Gutenberg Press.
Great moments in history are recorded, then published in textbooks years later. The moments that change the course of our world are studied, taught, remembered. Nations are formed. Dreams become possibilities.
What the world deems great, the world remembers. The world is affected by greatness, and by greatness the world is changed.
And yet, when my 10-year-old brother tells me about his imaginative plan for inventing the best-ever fighter-plane, I give him my honest opinion: “That’s a great idea!” No world will remember the invincible armor. No world will be changed by the five-million-miles-per-hour speed. But his idea is great.
My world will remember. His world changes mine. For me, there is significance; for me, there is greatness.