I make it a point every year to be in front of the television when the acceptance speeches are given by the seven inductees to the Football Hall of Fame. Not just because I like football a lot, but because there is always a lesson in human achievement.
This year, the recent induction of Emmitt Smith into the Hall of Fame was especially poignant.
By all accounts, Emmitt is one of the good guys. Named after his father, and his son also bears the same name, Emmitt, this young phenom from the projects of Pensacola, Florida reached the pinnacle of his profession as a football player. The leading rusher in the history of the NFL, Emmitt has gone on to achievement after he hung up his cleats, in business and in such things as “Dancing With the Stars.”
Emmitt’s speech was unscripted, he spoke from the heart, and it was powerful. The people he thanked, the lessons he gave, the explanation of what he did as great as they were, paled in comparison (at least to me) to the one thing I am not sure I ever did, and know I’ll never be able to do.
What was it? It was the wonder and amazement; the look frozen on the face of Emmitt’s father of joy, of love, and of gratitude. You’ve gotta go find a picture and see it. It’s beyond description: stuck in the moment, probably recounting in his mind every big and small sacrifice he made for his son, knowing it was more than worth it.
I know a lot about Emmitt Smith because of his records and achievements. I can look it up on Wikipedia. But I know everything I need to know when I look into the face of his father: a happy, satisfied, joyous, jubilant dad looking at his highest achievement – the success of his son who became a great man.
The greatest achievement in my life or yours is reflected in the eyes of our spouse; then reflected again in the eyes of our children. When you look into the eyes of your wife, men, do you see joy and energy, longing, and desire? Or is there a dead space where this woman has been allowed to dry up on the vine because from you, all she gets is draining, bullying, and nagging?
You want to be great? Let it be seen in the eyes of those closest to you.