What’s the measure of someone’s life? That’s a question that tugs at me like a two-year old who wants to eat lunch. By usual standards, the worth of my life can be measured in my accomplishments, academic degrees, career path, relative wealth, upright living or unique qualities that make me stand out from the crowd. All normal ways of naming what’s good about a person.
There may be another, perhaps-elusive benchmark by which any of us could be known: How our lives contribute to the greater good—any outcome in life that’s bigger than a single individual’s well-being.
You add to the greater good if your life is a lever or leaven, a spore or seed, a springboard or tipping point for others’ lives. You contribute to the greater good—okay, let’s also call this “doing God’s will”—when you transcend individualism. When your life purpose is more than dying with the most toys. When people, programs or institutions name you as a causing factor, the reason for success, a prime example to follow.
The greater good isn’t something that only famous people do; it’s what selfless people do. When you seek the greater good, your actions or character traits will replicate themselves over time. Your investment in others—perhaps at some cost to you—will continue.
As a spiritual person, you probably understand this life-truth already. What you might not realize is how well you’re doing this “greater good” thing—how your seemingly normal traits or actions have spread into other places and other lives. How God has made the greater good happen without your knowing it.
As you assess the meaning of your life, be assured that its worth can be measured by this standard: Whatever’s good in the world is greater because of you.
God knows it!