Greatness

 

My mother was very observant. One day, she pointed out something that has proven to be true in several occasions:

 

“Have you seen how unaffected great people are?”

 

She was referring to some real rich and powerful people she knew. She liked to give a few examples of important approachable people. She really marveled with simplicity in people, any kind of people for that matter, because richness and power are not synonymous of greatness, as we are going to see. Simplicity, for her, was an uncomplicated mind, a nice friendly way of relating with others and freedom to be just what one wants to be.

 

Her favorite example was of a Portuguese millionaire, one of the few really wealthy men at that time. Besides millionaire, he was an eccentric. He lived in hotels, all over Europe, and liked to walk barefoot on the streets.

 

“If you asked in any hotel about his character, nobody would have a single complain about him. He used to spend fairly without being fainthearted, and people respected him for it. That was the richest man I knew, someone simple, respected, without complexes…” my mother explained.

 

At this stage, you must be wondering why on earth I’m talking about all this. Yes, you are right, I do have a reason. Recently, there was a protocol ceremony in Mozambique. As it is usual, a commemorative plate was prepared for the occasion. Unfortunately, the name of the government official to preside the ceremony was wrong just in one letter. Suppose it was changed an “e” for an “i”, without modifying the sound or meaning of it.

 

Do you believe that the plate was refused, even with the promise of replacement in a couple of days? This is what I call self-importance! Terrible testifying it in such poor countries, especially knowing that the cost of the plate equals the average monthly salary of more than 10 Mozambican families!

 

Just 3 or 4 days after these facts, the local main newspaper printed, on the front page, the same name wrongly spelled. And they have 7 or more professionals working just to avoid that kind of situations! The plate mistake was just a common one, openly spread by the media and with no relevance.

 

When I heard about this, I couldn’t help remembering my mother’s words: “Great people are simple!”

 

Despite the above rant, I have to write down that I had a good day. Paul and I met my friend M and a little later we had a nice talk with L, N and her two lovely boys, all recently arrived from the island. I am sure I’ll have the opportunity of meeting my friend again, before leaving for my September Dream Holidays. The afternoon was also very pleasant. I am in a kind of exercise probation that is proving to be fruitful. At least the pain disappeared completely and I am feeling very energetic again. Because I have to control the way I exercise, I’ll be on probation every time I go over the top. That means an entire month just walking. No running, no tae bo, no dance… From now on I have to think first where I step, or it is plainly walking for me!

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