103-year-old Aunt Margy is my great aunt. And not because she is my Grandmother’s sister.
She is great because she is a wonderful host and an amazing cook. She is energetic, feisty and sarcastic; but never mean-spirited. She loves laughter and is a blast to be around. Aunt Margy relishes the beauty and majesty of nature. There is an energy within her, a brilliant light that never wanes. She gifts a piece of that light to every person she meets.
I have never heard her say a negative word. Not a complaint about a situation or event. No laments about growing old. Never a criticism about another human being.
Aunt Margy makes everyone feel special by listening intently to every word they say. She understands what really matters in life. People matter. Loving people matters. Some of us talk about it; she doesn’t speak a word about it. She just lives it.
Aunt Margy’s life is a life of greatness. Too often we measure greatness by wealth, athletic skill or fame. She is not a Hollywood Star or a Fortune 500 C.E.O., but her energy and spirit capture all that is right and good about this world. Aunt Margy has lived True Greatness, meaning she has maximized the talents and abilities with which God created her and fulfilled the purpose for which God called her.
Being around Aunt Margy – even for a few hours – reminds me that greatness isn’t about world championships or stock holdings. It is bringing joy to those around me. It is about small, deliberate kindnesses. It is listening and hearing. It is about helping others see the beauty in life that Aunt Margy sees.
Greatness is understanding that this earth and everything in it is fragile and could be gone in an instant. Greatness is understanding that all we really have are our connections to each other – they are all that truly matter.
Aunt Margy understands these things; I hope you and I understand them, too.