Hardships Produce Greatness

Some of the greatest leaders of our time did not start out so great. They started off poor, they were racially discriminated against and dealt with many hardships. However, their hard times taught them a lot of wisdom and strength. With their wisdom and strength, they helped others. It is those who overcome adversity that learn the wisdom and skills to lead others to a brighter tomorrow. 

Mahatma Gandhi was one who did not start out with greatness. Although he did not initially begin with adversity, he felt its sting in South Africa and India. As a child, he did not start out so admirably. For instance, he told lies and stole tobacco. He did other things that were prohibited; however, it was these things that put him onto a path of integrity. Once he saw the injustices in South Africa, he set out to correct these injustices through peaceful non-cooperation. 

Another notable figure who sought out to protest peacefully was Martin Luther King Jr. His father had long disliked racial inequality and set out in his own way to fight these injustices. Martin Luther King Jr. struggled with his own feelings about segregation and disliked Whites initially. However, he found that hate was not the answer to bringing about equality. He preached and led many protests to bring about true racial equality. 

There are other leaders that are less known for their social contributions; however, they are more known for the wisdom they share on other matters with others. Some can be categorized as financial leaders. For instance, Robert Kiyosaki is one such person. He started out poor, but he was the friend of a boy whose father was wealthy. He learned a great deal from this man. What he says seems to be unconventional and it is, but that doesn’t make it wrong. There is a lot of wisdom in what he teaches. He not only shows people why paradigms of the past no longer apply today, but he shows concretely why these paradigms no longer make sense. For instance, it was once considered prudent to work with a company for years and years while saving up for retirement. Many people still teach this; however, the rate of inflation far surpasses whatever can be saved today. The same dollar today that can buy a pack of gum will require four or five down the road. 

Another notable financial leader is Sukanto Tanoto. His practical solutions on financial matters and his zeal to fight injustice lends to his efforts in fighting poverty. Despite a decline in poverty, there are many who continue to face this struggle. The disparity between the poor and the rich in Indonesia has continued to increase setting apart those who feel its sting. Mr. Tanoto set up the Tanoto Foundation in an effort to help fight poverty through education and entrepreneurship training. Mr. Tanoto knows the struggles a lack of education can cause in a person’s life. He, himself, was denied education when he was smaller; however, he set out to help his father with the family business. 

Many people complain about hardships; however, it is through hardships that people learn about truth. They learn that people can do whatever they set their minds to, that fighting injustice requires standing up to it and that things can truly change for the better is people educate themselves and believe. 

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