i think great leaders make history. in my mind all the most famous leaders have made decisions that impacted their countries and remained well-known to this day.
if you mean "great leader" positively, like a good beneficient leader, then i'd say history makes a great leader.
sorry if this sounds convoluted!
and i agree wholeheartedly with megs. thank god i'm past these essays too!!
i personally think great leaders make history. if it wasn't for people starting campaigns, communities, groups, organizations, etc, to go against the grain and to stand up for what's right (or wrong, there are those out there too), then nothing would be done.
like women's rights.. if it weren't for feminist women, women today still won't be able to vote, or buy cars, or work, or own land... it definitely wasn't history creating great leaders.. because hundreds to thousands of years before, all women were doing the same thing: not working, not buying land/houses, not voting, not having a say in anything, and most definitely not in charge of anything other than housework or bearing more children to the family name.
or what about black/afro rights.. if it were up to history to make great leaders, that would never happen.. they were slaves for so long, and they were bought and sold, like products! leave it to history to keep that going.. but leave it to great leaders.. like abraham lincoln and mlk jr to open eyes about equality.
and how about now with GLBT rights? sure, we're allowed to vote, buy land, and work.. but we still are not equal. we can't get married like the others, and we can't be written in stone like the others.. civil unions can only do so much.. the HRC works their butt off to get things the way they should be. if it were left to history.. people would still think AIDS came from being gay, or that gays were a secret race or kind of people.. a lot of people would continue living lies and hiding themselves and their inhibitions.. and affairs would be more constant and adultery.. between the same sex.. which is like a giant slap in the face that your SO is sneaking around behind your back with someone of the same sex.. it's as if it's worse than doing it with your best friend! but now, most of us can just say it and accept it.. and move on. no need to say, "it's not you, it's me" anymore.. or fake a love for someone, just to make the parents and family name happy..
as [the great] Margaret Cho said in her Revolution tour: "To me, silence equals nonexistence. If I don't give too much information, if I don't 'go there', it was as if I was never there to begin with. "
if history made great leaders, then today's leaders SHOULD BE FANTASTIC. BUT!! our one leader is not. he's not fantastic, and he is far from it. far be it that he should know how to read a book rightside up, know what an OBGYN is, or attempt to save his mom's quote of hating black (& poor) people. history repeats itself for a reason, and that's because the current leaders are not learning from their mistakes or from what happened before..
great leaders, make history, so that future leaders will know of it and expand on it.
I think it's a bit of both.
Great leaders have made history by making decisions that made a huge impact on peoples lives, for example.
History also makes great leaders, they learn from what others have done before them and then continue to make decisions that also have a huge impact.
Both: sometimes when leaders are presented with great challenges in history, they become great leaders in history. They are spurred to become great leaders because the challenges are so extreme. Sometimes, when we are presented with great problems, we become better than what we thought we could ever become.
I'm with Megs. I'm glad I don't have to write these papers any more. Good luck.
Your question is terrific. I think we are always taught that societies learn from history. This is true, but only to a certain point. Leaders can use the lessons found in history to steer them in a particular direction or keep them from going down a path already traveled. In the end I believe it is the times that shape us as a society. Our leaders ultimately contribute in great part to these events.
who knows what gets your mind going? after going to bed early this morning i could not stop thinking about this question.
history plays such a part in things that sometimes potential great leaders do not get their time at bat. whether it be an elected position or the helm of a large corporation or the president of the local garden club. if a persons past holds something that is not so stellar or if they at some time make an unwise comment it is often never forgotten and they don't reach their potential.
history plays a part in each of our lives everyday. something as simple as a doctor visit will require the taking of a history before you are seen by the doctor. physicians want to know what has been happening to your body in the past before they make a diagnosis and treatment of a new patient.
detectives working to solve a crime want to know if the victim and suspect have a history.
news reporters often make mention of how leaders will be remembered in history. the truth is not always known and a really good leader can loose their position due to misinformation as well as a really bad one becoming revered.
before a leader can take action he must know the history of the situation to deal with it properly.
i still feel as i said in my first post that some have greater leadership potential than others but you must get the opportunity to use it to make the difference. i don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me. good luck on the paper i am glad that i have that type of job in my past.
i think history makes great leaders. a man or woman may have potential, motivation and ability, but without the opportunity that circumstance (history) gives them, they may not have ever been great. look at FDR: without the depression and WWII, both of which he did not create, but instead reacted to, we might think of him as just another president. instead, world events and the dire situation at home gave him an opportunity to step up, and without the situation that history created and he inherited, he might have been nothing but a good president.
i think most leaders are great because of how they react to a situation that they did NOT create.
although i think the argument is equally strong on the other side, i think this is the more thought provoking stance to take, and i know that's what my professors usually want me to do.
I agree that both makes great history, but there's something to be said for bad leaders, too. Whether they made some bad decisions or they were cruel and corrupt, their decisions and actions affected history.