Essay on Goodness Vs Greatness in 500 plus words

Essay on Goodness Vs Greatness in 500 plus words

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Goodness Vs Greatness Essay


Let us imagine the case of a common man who has all the personal virtues of Mahatma Gandhi. He is humble, sweet-tempered, honest, hard-working, truthful and non-violent. Let us also take it that he loves India and can suffer for India. His sex life is pure. He is a vegetarian and does not take any intoxicant. Nobody will dispute that such a man is a very good man. But such a man need not be a famous or a great man. mahatma Gandhi was both famous and great. Why?

Unless a man who has many of the personal virtues mentioned above has some other qualities also, he cannot be considered or called a great man. Great men serve great causes. The horizon of their sympathies and their activities is wider than the horizon of the sympathies and activities of a man who has only personal virtues. A great man actively influences millions of people. He is a great social force and brings about great social changes. He makes history.

Such were the heroes of history. Such were the great inventors, thinkers, discoverers, artists and poets, philosophers, scientists and the leaders of great social and political movements. A great man is he who is greater than his personal conduct in the limited sphere of his day to day life.

The characters in the novels of Bankim Chandra, Premchand, Sarat Chandra, Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Tolstoy, and other great novelists are often not great men and women. But these novelists are undoubtedly great men.
 
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Bacon, one of the most famous men that the world has produced, has been called the ablest, greatest, meanest of mankind. He was dishonest and took bribes. And yet he is one of the pioneers of modern civilisation and modern thought. Rousseau led a loose sex life and yet he inspired and originated some of the profoundest thoughts which have enlightened and enriched humanity. And he is one of those thinkers who helped to bring about the French Revolution. Kalidasa, the world famous poet, is said to have been fond of wine and women. So also Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet. So also Sheikh Sadi, who led a very free sex life but whom Emerson rightly calls the teacher of Asia. Goethe, from his early youth till he was eighty years old, ran after girls. And yet he gave the greatest and highest poetry and thought to all mankind. Thus we see that goodness and greatness do not always go together.

Many great men are anonymous. Every word in every language has had its author or originator. So also every famous proverb. So also the author of the decimal or the digit system. These are cases of anonymous greatness.

But unless the average man has the necessary minimum goodness, human life will become a hell. Goodness and greatness are also applicable to nations. When the fame of Mahatma Gandhi spread all over the world during the twenties of the present century, and when he was universally acknowledged to be the greatest man after Christ, an English paper wrote that the English people were so great that they did not need a great man like Gandhi. This curious remark implies that it is the average of the national character or moral and mental national quantum that counts. In praising exceptional greatness let us not lose sight of the average or the common mental and moral denominator. Isolated cases of personal greatness are like fireworks which dazzle the eye for a while and then are plunged in darkness. Unless great men and their work go on producing good lieutenants or seconds, their greatness becomes barren, terminating with the end of its own limited duration.

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