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Unsung Heroes: Prominent or Eminent?



"Let it never be forgotten that glamour is not greatness, applause is not fame, prominence is not eminence, the man of the hour is not apt to be the man of the ages, a stone may sparkle but that does not make it a diamond, and man may have money, but that does not make him a success. It is what the unimportant do that really counts and determines the course of history. The greatest forces in the universe are never spectacular. Summer showers are more effective than hurricanes, but they get no publicity. The world would soon die but for the fidelity, loyalty and consecration of those whose names are unhonored and unsung." Dr. Joseph R. Sizoo As I read Dr. Sizoo's definition of unsung heroes, I'm reminded of the difference between "prominent" and "eminent." "Prominent" is generally associated with a highly-visible figure in the community. My 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary says that "prominent" is "standing out from the surface of something," or "that which juts out, as the prominence of a joint. Small hills and knolls are prominences on the surface of the earth." "Prominent" is "standing out beyond the line or surface of something; full or large; principal; most visible or striking to the eye; conspicuous. The figure of a man or of a building holds a prominent place in a picture. "He/she played a prominent role in the economic recovery of the community."

"Eminent" is "high, lofty, exalted in rank, high in office, dignified, distinguished. Princes hold eminent stations in society as do ministers, judges and legislators. High in public estimation. Conspicuous; distinguished above others. Remarkable, as an eminent historian or poet, an eminent scholar."

When you look at the definition of "The Unsung Hero" by Dr. Sizoo and identify the differences between "prominent" and "eminent," it's easy to see that the individual who is frequently behind the scenes is often the one who can achieve an eminent position in life. Something to think about, isn't it? Do so, and I'll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!


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