The following quiz about important people is often attributed to Charles Schulz, creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. That attribution is denied by Snopes.com, a widely used internet reliability resource. Nevertheless, its point is worthy of consideration. So here it is, slightly amended:
- Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
- Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
- Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
- Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
- Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
- Name the last decade’s World Series winners.
How did you do? If you’re like me, you didn’t do so well. The point of this little exercise is that very few people 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. Except in rare cases, accolades, certificates and trophies are buried with their owners. I look around my office at many such items that will very likely find their permanent home someday in a dumpster.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
- List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
- Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time.
- Name five people who taught you something worthwhile.
- Think of a few people who made you feel appreciated and special.
- Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
- Name the pastor who most significantly influenced your life.
For many people, this second quiz is easier than the first. That’s true simply because the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones who possess impressive credentials, high net worth, or prestigious awards. They simply are the people who care the most.
Scripture has many injunctions to honor important people, including those in authority (Rom. 13:7), your leaders in the Lord’s work (1 Thess. 5:12), your father and your mother (Deut. 5:16).
Take some time to honor the important people in your life!