Why do we love movies? We love the very ‘enjoyable’ ones, and the characters that make them enjoyable are referred to as the “main” characters. These are usually the ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’. They are both ‘great’ in their own rights –they always have a cause they are fighting for; and this is why they have to fight against each other. The bad guy may want to destroy the planet while the good guy may want to save the earth. These are great causes and their pursuit of these causes makes them great people.
There are other ‘insignificant’ characters in movies though –often referred to as “extras”. Those ones may add, in their own little way, to the ‘enjoyability’ of the movie but are not usually interesting, themselves.
We resonate a lot with movies because somewhere deep down, we tend to agree that they depict life or how life should be. This led me to draw a parallel to life. There are 2 categories of people, and 4 sub-categories. The 2 categories deal with the area of making things happen versus watching things happen. There are ‘Great’ and ‘Small’ people. Great people are the players, small people are spectators.
Now, great people can either be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but what makes them great is their stance behind a cause way bigger than themselves, and their willingness to die for it.
Small people can also be either good or bad. The good ones often are too quiet and insignificant. At best, they are ‘pawns’ in the agenda of the great-good guys. The bad ones are negative, not quiet at all but insignificant all the same. They see the downside to everything to the point that they think nothing great is worth attempting. That is why they remain small-minded and insignificant.
Let’s take a closer look at these 4 kinds of people for better understanding and, perhaps, a pointer to where we’re at, and what we might need to change.
Great & Good
These people choose themselves to fight a good fight; Lincoln freed the slaves, Martin Luther King fought against segregation. These kinds of people, like any other person, make mistakes. However, they usually own up to their mistakes. They hardly indulge in the finger-pointing game. They have an ability to let things slide –they don’t sweat the small stuff. They forgive, easily, those who cross them because they put the agenda of the cause they are standing for above theirs.
They also do not try to control everything. They give their best, and leave the rest to fate.
Great & Bad
They choose themselves as well, but are motivated by wrong ideals. Hitler fought for National Socialism –an ideal that was racially motivated. These people make mistakes, own up to them, but then justify them as acceptable. They also seek to turn enemies into allies especially when this furthers their cause.
Their agenda must be furthered and for those that get in the way or as much as disagree with that, they seek to crush. They try to control everything and this is why their great causes are often short-lived. The good thing about them however is that should they decide to ‘jump ship’ onto a good cause, they would bring the same fervour along with them and pursue the cause so intensely that it betters humanity. Case in point: John Newton
Small & Good (Complacent)
It is easy to fall into this category of people. They are afraid of putting themselves ‘out there’; scared that people might spot their mistakes or imperfections. They are full of good intentions –great ideas in their minds, but void of action. Their passiveness allows for them to lead reactive, rather than proactive lives. They don’t want to control (or be responsible for) anything.
This is a very dangerous category for people to fall into, especially if many people in a society do. It is because more of these people don’t step into greatness that bad people take over and rule. That is why Edmund Burke was so right to say that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.
Small & Bad (Petty)
This is what you should not be! And if you know such people, start avoiding them today! Not only are they toxic, they actually want to drag and keep you down with them. They pick fight with almost anything. They always find the negative in most things and so never attempt to do anything great and also discourage those around them from trying. They would rather have you around them to talk about other people.
They are insignificant, so they would stay “anonymous” online and constantly post negative mean-spirited comments on ‘great’ people’s posts. They hardly forgive people or let things slide, but always choose to retaliate! They stubbornly hold on to their way of thinking; trying to win every little battle in their lives, but never winning the war.
For people like this, a quote by Abraham Lincoln might help you consider changing your ways:
“No man who is resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention… Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him in contesting for the right. Even killing the dog would not cure the bite.”
So what are you? How big are you down there in your heart? Are you the ‘good-great’ who steps up and creates content that will enrich people’s lives despite the vulnerability and criticisms you might have to deal with? Are you the ‘bad-great’ who opposes the good-great to advance your negative content that will sway people onto destruction? Or are you small? So insignificant that you are unwilling to try –to take a bold step forward –and probably resort to finding fault with what the great are doing, by posting mean-spirited comments constantly?
The great are significantly useful (to humanity), no matter their morals. The small, not so much. At best they are ‘used’ by the great. After all, when you’re large, you’re in charge! While you ponder my questions, bear one thing in mind: You can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.
This, my friends, is a call to greatness. It all starts down there in your heart. Let’s dare to be great!
Photo Credit: Dennis Owusu-ansah | Dreamstime.com