Grand Larseny

What's a sweatshop without a little fun?

Buying Greatness

I loves me some shiny cars. You see one of those Infinity M classes or new Mustangs (particularly GT’s) driving down the road and imagine myself behind the wheel…boy, howdy, don’t that feel good. Daydreams and wishes are great for personal time, but let’s do a little deeper digging to answer a question for ourselves: why do we love the things we love?

Among other things (namely greed), I’d say it’s because people want to be great. Being great is a good thing, especially when it’s part of a greater plan, but there seems to be a myth people can carry with them from junior high about being great. Just like hanging out with the cool kids can make you cool, some people think that buying great things can make you great. Hate to burst your bubble, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Mercedes Benz’s, Rolexes, and even KitchenAid dishwashers are great in their own rights. They are crafted with care and have earned valued reputations for greatness. But, despite the high price to own them, they say absolutely nothing about their owner. Of course, the owner’s choice says something, their color preference, their preference of styling, what they may value, but it does not say anthing about how great of a person they are. Just because you own something that is really cool doesn’t mean that you are cool.

In my personal life, I have just come to the following conclusion; if you can picture yourself with something else and still feel as good about yourself, then you’re ok. That is, if you can picture youself in a car with the same performance as a Mustang as being just as cool as with another car, then you’re looking at the Mustang in the correct way. It’s ok to like the performance or style of a Mustang over other cars, it’s just not ok to like yourself in a Mustang over other cars.

Bottom line, there is no way to buy greatness. Greatness can only come from being part of a greater plan; God’s plan.


  1. Matt says:

    What if Greatness isn’t in God’s plan for you? What if, rather, his plan for you is to be crushed by a grand piano falling from a 7th story window?

  2. Daniel says:

    I see why you would say that, but I would imagine that anything God sets up for us to do is what will make us great. Greatness in God’s eyes always trumps greatness in people’s eyes.

    Glad to hear from you, Matt

  3. Matt says:

    So, what we have are two separate concepts–“God’s Greatness” (defined as whatever God thinks is great, which potentially includes death by sudden piano strike) and “people’s greatness.” Can money buy “people’s greatness?”

    P.S. If God kills people only once they have completed their mission in life, procrastination is the surest route to immortality.

  4. Daniel says:

    While I certainly don’t want to argue semantics with a linguiphile, I think I’ve done a poor job explaining myself. Well, either that or you’re trying to trap me in my own words, and I know you wouldn’t possibly be doing that.

    To begin, I originally wrote from my personal perspective that greatness is basically synonymous with a sense of fulfillment, which looking back on it, is probably not where anyone else is gonna be coming from. By greatness, I meant that a person may not be famous or wealthy or wise, but instead has used their life to the utmost. That is why I rephrased to put in the distinction because most people probably wouldn’t see this as “greatness.” Greatness in God’s eyes as being the fulfillment of your purpose versus greatness in people’s eyes as material superiority.

    Which brings us to your point here. Yeah, you can probably buy greatness in the eyes of people, but I don’t think this is the greatness that counts. Nor do I think it is greatness that will fill any desire. True greatness still lies more in the way you live your life.

    Your wit, my friend, is ever sharp. Your argument ad absurdum has only the slightest of flaws. I didn’t ever said, or at least intend to say, that God kills people once they’ve completed their mission in life. However, if procrastination has anything to do with immortality, rest assured that I will live at least a few millenia.

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