In order to enjoy people's prestige and gratitude, it isn't enough to be good, you must be great.
In 1920, after the end of the war, the situation of prisoners around the world was more and more difficult, their fate was desperate. In ruined countries, typhus and starvation killed more and more people. The International Red Cross couldn't grant so much aid. Only the joint efforts of nations could save them.
The secretary of the League of Nations from that period, the experienced diplomat Noel Baker was firmly convinced that only one man was able to save the situation, a man who enjoyed the prestige and general gratitude for his organizational skills, energy, talent, but especially for the greatness of his soul. Entirely responsible for such high requirements was none other than the preeminent explorer and scientist Fridforf Nansen, who was known worldwide for his courage, honesty, generosity and magnanimity of soul which he had displayed many times.
- No! Nansen responded. Soon I will turn 60; it's time for me to begin a peaceful life. The mission you entrust me will take a few years. It means that, during this time, I will have to quit my scientific work, give up the hope of a life with the family… Why dedicate my life to an issue that is foreign to me and which others seek to get rid of?
But a man with a big heart can't remain indifferent to the sufferings of others
Noel Baker insisted:
- The people's faith about to extinguished should be supported in the great family of peoples … the league is the symbol of salvation. People's faith should be strengthened in this organization - an instrument of peace and mutual understanding. Humanity in suffering turns its eyes full of hope to you, Fridforf Nansen.
Convinced by the emphatic words of the diplomat and animated by the truth he expressed, Nansen agreed to take the helm of humanity in his hands. Dedication and enthusiasm for the good of humanity forced him to abandon his studies on marine and peace of mind that only his family can provide. Once again he had to fight to save people and humanity.
You're good, you're merciful, you're great
The greatness of a leader doesn't mean personal happiness, but the happiness he shares with others. Not money, not fame, not power, but his good deeds deserve general appreciation. Putting himself in the service of humanity when the situation was very difficult, when nobody had the courage to take responsibility, when, in those moments of despair, everyone waited for help, but everything seemed without hope, and making everything he could to straighten things to a normal path, fighting lies, backbiting, intrigues and injustice which were coming down on millions of innocent people, Nansen was worthy of general gratitude.
Thanks to Nansen and only because of his actions and insistence, donations were finally gathered from people of all nationalities, from various social ranks, which were distributed with rigor and justice to hungry people. Never in all history had a man aroused such a strong echo in people's hearts. Surprising, isn't it, how much a man whose kindness knows no borders do can do. To enjoy people's prestige and gratitude it is not enough to be good, you must be great.
Get down deep in your heart and analyze it
I tell you with pride, future leader that people will need you as long as they will live. Analyze the past and the present, try to guess the future, try to listen to your heart and see whether you're able to serve with dedication, with no hard feelings, cupidity or hesitation on those who really need your help. Only one second is enough to change doubt in the most unshakable certainty. If your heart does not refresh before any sense of union with others, it means that you don't feel anything alive in you; which means that you're not “great”.
Nansen was a symbol of humanism. You can be the same if you do not stay indifferent to other people's fate. But if you're like one of those hypocrites who do nothing, but wait anxiously for others to show their gratitude and respect for him by the most ceremonious reverences. If you're one of those people who count their cards of “glorification”, without taking into consideration the principles of human solidarity. If you're one of those who don't cherish and don't struggle to cultivate human values, like good, justice, altruism, honesty and, finally, if you're one of those who rest on the laurels of an unfair success, due to others, there's no doubt that people will begin to show their disapproval of you, for your deep disappointment. People will not entertain beautiful thoughts and hopes, but fear or disgust, and you will eventually lose in a deep oblivion...
Conclusion: To enjoy the prestige and persistent appreciation of the people you should get involved wholeheartedly in achieving their needs and expectations. Sometimes, it takes only the power of word, which sometimes convinces faster than any other method.
P.S. Just as violence of “mind" externalizes through violent acts - the greatness of soul manifests by the power of persuasion of words, in order to achieve acts full of humanitarianism.
Note: A. Talanov - Nansen, Editura Tineretului, 1961.