GRE Issue Essay 242

“The surest indicator of a great nation is not the achievements of its rulers, artists, or scientists, but the general welfare of all its people.”

How is a nation classified as great? Does this classification depend on the achievements of the rulers, scientists and artists that the nation has produced or does it depend on the satisfaction and happiness of the citizens of the nation? It is evident that a nation cannot be termed as a great nation if there is widespread discontent amongst its citizens no matter how successful the nation has been in producing illustrious rulers, scientists and artists. Therefore, the general welfare of the people of a nation is definitely an indicator of the greatness of a nation.

A nation marches ahead on the path to progress with support from the contributions made by its people. The citizens need to be employed, literate, healthy, satisfied and happy in order to assist the nation on its way to progress. A nation plagued by poverty, famine, slow economic growth, unemployment will have to deal with several related problems that will make it difficult for the nation to progress and to be known as a great nation.

People who are below the poverty line will resort to unscrupulous means to make money. Unemployed youth can easily be lured into carrying out criminal activities because of the probability of high monetary gains. Corruption would be rampant and we all know the effect that corruption has on the well-being and progress of a nation. Living in the country would no longer be safe either for the citizens or for the tourists visiting the country. The nation may boast of several well-known scientists, artists and rulers, but will the achievements of these people help in improving the image of the nation in the eyes of the world? The answer to this question would be a definite, “No”. People judge the greatness of a nation by the living conditions of the nation and the greatness of some of its citizens makes little or no contribution to the greatness of the nation.

Breakthroughs in the world of science and technology made by the scientists of a nation cannot do much for the well-being of the nation unless the technology is made use of for improving the living conditions of the citizens of the nation. For instance, if a team of scientists from a developing country makes a path breaking discovery in the field of generation of power, the nation can progress ahead only if the technology is applied for generation of power within the nation. The team of scientists may move to another developed nation for further research work or the nation may not have the necessary funds to implement the newly discovered technology for the betterment of its citizens. In either of the cases, the scientists would not be able to contribute anything towards the progress of their nation.

A nation is determined by its people. If the people are looked after well by their leaders and their welfare is always kept in mind whenever major political decisions are taken, then it is evident that the nation will progress on the path which leads to greatness. This is because the well-being of a nation is directly related to the well-being and welfare of its people who constitute the nation. The greatness of a nation cannot be determined by a handful of people who have gained popularity and fame because of their achievements in the field of science and technology or politics.