Since I first discovered this site when I was a teenager, I have made an effort to strive to be the best Man I could be. Part of that means learning as I go along, but another part is by taking lessons from other Great Men of History. My heroes include:
- Theodore Roosevelt: The Man is a hero of mine since reading "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edmund Morris. He personifies the idea of taking life by the horns and going for it.
- Sean Connery: yes, I know he is an Actor, but DAMN is he a cool Actor. The man not only 007, personifying the cool Bond before Daniel Craig saved the francise once more, but his life is an exciting one at that.
- Francisco "Pancho" Villa: For those unaware, he was a Mexican Revolutionary who rose up through humble beginnigs to combat his country's corrupt regime and fought for his beliefs. He was by no means a perfect man, but then again he wasn't trying to be.
- Andrew Carnegie: He also rose from humble beginnings to become one of the wealthiest men in America. He may have skirted the law at times and conducted scrupulous dealings at time, but he made a huge impact on the world today. His Philosophy on life and finance are a must read for any young person today.
- Winston Churchill: The man was the embodiment of courage under fire, having strenth when it was in short supply. He was quotable, likeable, and above all, he had BEARING!
- Ernest Hemingway: An excellent writer who can say in 2 words what others needed 5 for. He personal life was also an extravegant bit of business. 3
- Chesty Puller: Wikipedia him if you need to. I won't do him any justice here.
These are the people who's example I try to follow. They weren't perfect and they made mistakes, but they lived their lives as best they could. In a time when people are more focused in the mundane, their legacy is my inspiration to consistently challenge my believes and live my life on my terms; to avoid any rut I may get into, and get out of my comfort zone. I could go on but I think you all get the gist of it.
While I know and acknowledge that we all have loved ones who have had an impact on our lives, I'm interested in knowing if there is anyone out there who's life has been affected or changed by the life of another person they may never have met.
So here is where my curiosity comes to fruition. Who are *your* role models and why?
Steve McQueen, Ernest Hemingway, James Dean, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Sean Connery, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, guys like that...
For me it's the fictional Craig Lowell from W.E.B. Griffin's series 'Brotherhood of War', as we share more than a few characteristics. His character showed me that however good you are at certain things, it's the tiny screw-ups that could easily have been avoided that set you back more than you've gained.
He also made me see that it's okay to be a bit eccentric, as long as it is actually 'you', and you do it with good grace and regard for other people.
Good thread idea! Here are two of mine:
John F. Kennedy. I always admired the man's intelligence, his style, and his dedication to his work. One thing I always liked about Kennedy was, despite his poor health, he still persevered throughout life.
Erwin Rommel. Perhaps somewhat controversial, but I always admired Rommel. I felt he was a man who exemplifies loyalty: he loved Germany even when it had fallen into its darkest hour. He committed willful suicide in order to protect his family.
I concur with your choice on Rommel. He was an excellcent battlefield general who treated his men well and ignored calls for atrocities from higher ups. He gave Montgomery a run for his money and proved his worth by being respected by his enemies. If there ever was such a thing as a Noble Foe, he was it.
Rommel's book is still recommended reading for military officers!
Good to know! Which military are you talking about?
Ah, that's a good military.
Marcus Aurelius for being part fierce general, part sage philosopher. Abraham Lincoln for his silver tongue and political abilities.
Ah man, Marcus Aurelius. The last of the Five-Great Emperors. I've read and listened to Meditations more than a few times. Stoicism is a quality that I strive for everyday.
There are many historic figures that I've looked up to with joy in my heart. I've noticed that most of them come from the Romantic era, an era of idealists and dreamers who actually made some difference in this world.
Soren Kierkegaard - He was a philosopher and a great person. There's this tale that goes around, it varies from teller to teller, that one day when Soren's beloved no longer held her admiration for him, this hunchbacked crazy man. Once he found out, he knew it would blemish her reputation since "breaking up" was very taboo in his day. Soren's views on love, especially his philosophy of erotic vs "true" love, reflected with dearness to me.
John Keats - A young man who died way too long before his time. But he had poetry that could speak many truths about the shortness of life. It makes me contemplate about how I should live life with those I care about the most, those who are my family and friends. La Belle Dame Sans Merci is my favorite poem from him, and I recite its verses from time to time.
Walt Disney - I'm reading a book on his history right now, and I believe he is an amazing man. Many people, especially his father, thought he was wasting time drawing cartoons. Perhaps this man was a little neurotic, but he had an imagination combined with an ambition that transcended into his reality. And his legacy still shows today through media and business, and I want to become an enterprising man like him someday.
Martin Luther King Jr. - I don't agree with his views on socialism, but I admire this man's courage to stand up against the majority who shunned him. Like Jesus of Nazareth, he spoke of love and a day when the white man and the black man could hold hands together, like how one day, the lamb and the lion would lie down without any ire. If it weren't for him, I probably would not be able to use a computer, let alone get a proper education to use one. Thank you, MLK.