A new era of greatness screamed the headline of The Age sport liftout.
This article referring to Australia's recent cricket prowess caused me to reflect on the definition of greatness and the 'great' nineties.
I concluded that an era of time is only great as it relates to another era.
Personally, the nineties were great compared with the eighties which were a personal disaster. With nearly 58 world championships last year Australians are starting to believe their own press.
Just when I was getting my "Go Aussie Go" banner out for the "Noughties", my attention was snatched by another 'Australian' headline by Murray Waldren screaming 'A Decade of Division'!
Quote: 'How will we judge the 90s?
It was the cyber decade, the era of the supermodel, capitalism's time of triumph. But most of all, the period is symbolised by the growth of wealth - and of the numbers of poor, homeless and refugees."
It started in Somalia - pictures of terrified emaciated children; the 600,000 Kurds who fled Hussein's troops; again 1 million plus refugees from Bosnia/Herzegovina. The horrific clarity of two million escapees from Rwanda to Zaire and last year Kosovo and East Timor.
Relatively speaking, the dysfunction and horror experienced by millions must render the nineties not so great.
As to Australia's greatness because of sporting prowess, I wonder if we need to revisit our definition of greatness.
Penultimately, I noticed the not so grabbing obituaries in The Age on the same day. Curtis Mayfied, song writer, was being eulogised: "He sang against social injustice with an almost spiritual eloquence that made him the conscience of R&B music in the 60s and 70s. His most affecting songs carried the optimism and conviction of the Rev Martin Luther King Junior's most celebrated sermons."
Maybe Curtis was one of the unsung 'greats' of a past era.
Maybe he was a little closer to Jesus' definition of greatness.
Quote: "Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the servant of all." (Mark 10: 43 and 44)