GRE Issue Essay 70
“An individual’s greatness cannot be judged objectively by his or her contemporaries; the most objective evaluators of a person’s greatness are people who belong to a later time.”
All individuals are capable of doing well in their respective fields. A person can prove his worth if he presents himself to be better than his contemporaries. If a person is able to stand apart from the rest of his class then he is considered great. An individual’s worth is assessed in the time when he has achieved something and not with those who belong to a later period. I believe if a person’s worth is compared to his contemporaries then he certainly is a genius and he should not be compared to the people of later generation. Time is the prime factor which is sufficient enough to make the present separate from the past.
We have great examples from the past which tell us about the achievements of great people. There is no denying that such people did remarkably well in their fields but it certainly would not be fair o compare the two. We all are grateful to Edison for the discovery of the light bulb but his achievements can certainly not be matched with the scientists of the present generation. It would not be fair on part of both. Similarly great architecture of the old ages can not be compared with today’s architecture. We have great monuments which were made using great architecture but that certainly can not be compared with today’s architecture. There are numerous examples which would prove that past achievements can not be compared to the present ones because we can not compare the present situations with the past ones for various reasons. An actor who is doing remarkably well in his career can not be denied of fame if he is not able to prove his acting capabilities compared to the yesteryear actors. The demand for work has changed over the years and therefore people are not expected to do what they were doing few years back. If the demand for work has changed then a person is not expected to work like the people of later period and hence his outcome in the work front would be different from that of earlier times. Therefore, it is impractical to compare the two.
Although it is not fair to compare a person’s worth with the people of later period rather than his contemporaries but still people of later period act as our mentors. It would certainly not be correct to be compared to them but they are always looked up to for inspiration. If a person in present time has proved himself to be worthy then there is no doubt about this fact. His achievements should not be compared with the achievements of people of a later period.
Therefore achievements of an individual should only be compared with his contemporaries. If he has made his stand strong amongst his contemporaries then his worth should not be compared to the people of later period.