Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The World’s Most Famous Man

There is a man whose birthday is celebrated every year around the world. Is there any other man that the world does this for? In general, a “great” man’s birthday is usually only celebrated in the country of his birth. Take for example men like Lincoln, or Washington. For these, their date of birth appears on U.S. calendars as reminders. They are not holidays for which we are given time off to commemorate. We only celebrate their birthdays by remembering them.

Can you think of any man whose birthday is remembered worldwide? Not only remembered, but for which we are given time off for? People around the globe take time off their work, children take a break from school, for anywhere from one day to two weeks. Of course, this man’s birthday is close to the end of the year and so the celebration of his birthday is combined with the end of the year and the beginning of the next. That would help to account for why this time off is so long.

Which brings me to another point. The end of the year. This same man’s life is the focal point of our calendar and the very number of the year in which we live from the beginning of recorded time. The years are numbered backward leading up to his birth. Then, from the time of his birth, the years are numbered forward. What other man has so profoundly and directly affected our lives?

Think of other great men and women. List them. I looked for a list and came up with the following on a website.

1. Martin Luther King Jr.
2. 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
4. Nelson Mandela
5. Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa
6. Rigoberta Menchú
7. Aung San Suu Kyi
8. Abraham Lincoln
9. Terry Fox
10. Jean Vanier
11. Rosa Louise Parks
12. Dr. Norman Bethune
13. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
14. Diana Princess of Wales
15. Dr. Jack Preger
16. Marie Curie
17. Leonardo Da Vinci
18. Jacques Yves Cousteau
19. Louis Pasteur
20. Dian Fossey
21. Florence Nightingale
22. Aristotle

Nice list. Of the 22, there are 8 that I have no idea who they are. Of the 22, how many of them do we celebrate their birthday with a holiday or even one day off work or school? How many are recognized internationally? And, obviously, are there any that we set our calendar to? This is not to belitttle these people nor their accomplishments. But it does show the contrast of how one man’s life outshines them all.

He was not a politician. He was not a scientist. He was not a businessman. He was the son of a carpenter who grew up in the Middle East. His life was a short one, he was only 33 years old at the time of his death. It’s funny, even though he was, or has become, so famous, the cause of his death was by public execution. So much for this “famous” man’s popularity!

I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. Funny, his name doesn’t even appear on the above list of 22. His name was Jesus. Come to think of it, I don’t believe he even had a last name. Maybe, at the time, he went by the name, Jesus the son of Joseph. But the world remembers him more commonly as, Jesus the son of God. (Written Dec. 7, 2007)

No comments:

Post a Comment