Goodness, Greatness, and Tyler Wentz

**Note this is a reprint of a story on Tyler Wentz from the Godwin High School Newspaper “The Eagle’s Eyrie” October 2nd, 2015 edition by Chip Carter – Newspaper Advisor**

Do you want to be good, or do you want to be great?

The question is not meant to require much reflection. The unspoken message is that with more work, more focus, more something we can reach a rare level of achievement and garner the accompanying rewards for greatness.

For Godwin students, Thomas Edison’s idea about genius being more perspiration than inspiration might apply—study harder, practice longer, sacrifice, commit, sleep less….

But how about this question? Would we rather possess greatness or goodness?

If the question changes just slightly, maybe we can examine our lives more deeply.

Greatness can be inspirational, bringing important advancement in science or medicine for Instance. But we also can be blinded by it. As a society, we often grant excessive focus to those who are thought to be great- great at sports, great at acting or singing, great at getting rich, and sometimes just great at being famous without doing anything significant.

Even further, we must acknowledge that those who achieve greatness sometimes do it at the expense of goodness.

But we should never let simple goodness be overshadowed.

The recent loss of Godwin junior Tyler Wentz a few weeks ago reminded me of this.

Tyler was a member of my freshman English class two years ago. I will not remember hIs greatness in class- his writing, his great insight into particular pieces of literature, or his great command of grammar.

What l, like many of his teachers, will remember is his simple goodness- his gentle and kind nature, his good manners, his willingness to work hard at things that were not easy for him. His goodness.

Many of you never knew him, but Tyler’s friends would have you know that they Will remember him as always thinking of others, and as someone who never even considered being mean to another. He was the kind of person who made this a better place.

In other words, they will remember his goodness. It was his gift to them and to us all.

Maybe being inspired by someone’s goodness is really something to remember.

And just maybe our own goodness can be our thanks back to our friend.

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