A neat new-to-me word: kleos, explained by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein in "What Would Plato Tweet?" as:

...The word comes from the old Homeric word for "I hear," and it meant a kind of auditory renown. Vulgarly speaking, it was fame. But it also could mean the glorious deed that merited the fame, as well as the poem that sang of the deed and so produced the fame. The medium, the message, and the impact: all merged into one shining concept.

Kleos lay very near the core of the Greek value system. Their value system was at least partly motivated, as perhaps all value systems are partly motivated, by the human need to feel as if our lives matter. A little perspective, which the Greeks certainly had, reveals what brief and feeble things our lives are. As the old Jewish joke has it, the food here is terrible — and such small portions! What can we do to give our lives a moreness that will help withstand the eons of time that will soon cover us over, blotting out the fact that we ever existed at all? Really, why did we bother to show up for our existence in the first place? The Greek speakers were as obsessed with this question as we are.

Or, as per the current Wikipedia definition-article:

Kleos (Greek: κλέος) is the Greek word often translated to "renown", or "glory". It is related to the word "to hear" and carries the implied meaning of "what others hear about you". A Greek hero earns kleos through accomplishing great deeds, often through his own death.

Goldstein likens it to the "Klout" score of social-media impact; perhaps it's also akin to a chess rating, or a runner's PR (Personal Record, aka PB = Personal Best), or some similar semi-quantitative measure of noteworthy ability.

And in the best case, maybe it can become a benchmark to calibrate oneself against, on the way to self-actualization?

^z - 2014-03-18