He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
Recently I took our Leadership Team to see the film Wonder (2017) which follows the novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio. One of my daughters had read the book, and another one of my daughters had started reading it. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my family listened to the audiobook driving back and forth to east Tennessee to visit family. The story chronicles the life of August ("Auggie") Pullman, a 10-year old boy with a medical facial difference who attends Beecher Prep, a private school in Manhattan. There are many elements that arise for parents, sons, daughters, siblings, teachers, school leaders, friends, peers, and classmates to consider. I highly recommend the movie because it is a good story that will stir your affections deeply.
My favorite line in the movie is when Mr. Tushman, the Director of Middle School, presents the Henry Ward Beecher award and quotes Beecher on strength:
Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
Good stories are good stories for a reason. The gospel is good news for a reason . . . It stirs something in us. The movie Wonder caused me to ponder what I value as a husband, father, and leader. The movie moved me in a powerful way that I hope changes who I am at my core. This is the potentiality of any good story. I encourage you in an era of tweeting, SportsCenter clips, Netflix binging, Instagram posts, and texting to take time to read a good story that inspires you.