What’s Good. What’s Great.

I read a quote this morning, which struck me.

“They’re only truly great who are truly good.” — George Chapman

I’ve met a lot of truly good people in my life. My Dad always jumps to the forefront, when I consider “goodness” to the core. God, I miss his spirit, walking around in his body, here on this earth. I miss his gentle smile and his kind voice.

But. I am not intending on writing a tribute to my father, here. Now. No, it was the quote that started all this.

They are only truly great who are truly good. And this is truly true. I always find it so heartwarming to encounter someone who is being kind-hearted. Just yesterday, I saw it a few times. People showing patience, or compassion. Or showing common good manners and respect for another person.

What a state we have come to, in this world, when “good manners” has become something extraordinary and momentous.

Which always brings me around to a central line of thought for me. I often contemplate what the most important thing in life is, for me. OR for people in general.

For as long as I can remember, I have held the postulation that my main goal in life, my most important thing, is simply being a good person.

In whatever form that takes shape.
Sometimes, I fail miserably.

But other people have other ideas about their main “goals” in life. The most important thing for themselves or for others.

Some people think “how we feel on the inside” is the most important thing.
Or others propose it is dedicating their lives to Jesus Christ.
Others think it is a life of service.
There are those who believe gaining wealth and status are the most important thing.
It all varies from person to person, in millions of degrees.

And who is to say who is right?
And how would they even know?

But back to the quote. As if this all were not enough.
Whenever I hear or read a quote that affects me, I like to look up the author. It helps me to consider their words. To contemplate their thoughts, and beliefs.

In this case, George Chapman.

When you Google Mr. George Chapman, two main results ensue.

One George Chapman was an English dramatist, translator, and poet. “He was a classical scholar whose work shows the influence of Stoicism. Chapman has been identified as the Rival Poet of Shakespeare’s sonnets.” A translator of Homer’s Iliad.

And the other George Chapman, was was a Polish serial killer “known as the Borough Poisoner. Born in Congress Poland, he moved to England as an adult, where he committed his crimes. Chapman was convicted and executed after poisoning three women, but is remembered today mostly because some contemporary police officers suspected him of being the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper.”

So, you see, this life thing — well — continues to mystify and perplex.

And then, there is a third George Chapman, who ran Freddy’s Burger Barn, at the corner of Main and First Street. He could’ve said it.


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life, it goes on.” – Robert Frost


“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss


“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw