AD
1988

165 Curtain Calls

Just how many times can an audience beg for an encore before they, too, are too exhausted to continue? Apparently, 165 times is the answer, or at least according to the Guinness Book of World Records, which indicates that the world record for most curtain calls is 165. The record was set on February 24, 1988 in Berlin when Luciano Pavarotti performed L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) at the Deutsche Oper. The audience was so moved that they applauded for over an hour, and Pavarotti was so moved by their adulation, that he had a piano brought out and performed an impromptu recital.

I include this to remark how appreciative we are of excellence. Random inequalities aside, life is a meritocracy. People love things that are truly great. The reason so many people want an iPad is because the iPad is great.

Greatness is attainable by everyone. I don’t say that as a pep talk, but as a simple fact. Big great things (like the iPad) are only attainable by a few people. But small or even tiny great things are attainable by everyone. A flowerbed can be great. I believe people are happiest when they succeed in greatness, regardless of the scope. Whatever you do, do it with greatness. Choose what is attainable to you, but be great.

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