Versions of this have been around a long time. I recently saw this again on the facebook page of my friend and preaching colleague, Steve Wolfgang.
It’s credited to Charles Schultz, the creator of the comic strip “Peanuts.” And worth repeating and reposting. To get the point, you don’t have to write down the answers, just read through the two quizzes.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name the last three people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List three teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of three people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.
This exercise reminds us that people matter. In his book, It’s All About the People the late Dee Bowman expressed it well.” Life is about little people. It’s not about the rich and famous, it’s about simple folks…who haven’t made a big splash in life, nor said anything special, or done anything worthy of public praise or honor.”
It’s because these are the people with whom we associate. Who touch our lives. And invest themselves in our lives. Parents. Siblings. Aunts. Uncles. Teachers. Coaches. Preachers. Pastors. Neighbors. Brethren. Common folks. Unknown and unheralded by the world, but difference makers in their homes, communities, schools and churches.
It reminds us that life is not about things. It’s about people. And in the words of Albert Einstein, it challenges us to remember that “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman