He worked to convince all of America that man was indeed created equal and his dream became a reality following his death. Today, largely based on his influence, races mingle at schools, churches and employment. Whereas there used to be a great division of ideas and traditions there is now a sharing of diverse cultures and ideas that can be blended together to create a more cohesive society (Wolfson, 2003).
Another great leader in American history is W.E.B. Dubois. Dubois felt differently about King when it came to the radical nature the minorities should be willing to take to make their point known but he was as strong a leader as King in his commitment to the cause.
In his The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Dubois called this moment in the life of every African-American "the revelation." Sooner or later, the young black child discovered that he was different from his white fellows, that he was shut out from their world. The effects on the psyche could be devastating. Dubois noted that for many blacks their youth shrunk "into silent hatred of the pale world about them and mocking distrust of everything white; or wasted itself in a bitter cry, 'Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house (Wolfson, 2003)?'"
While Dubois advocated radical action his education and intelligence provided a foundation for today's leaders to look to and understand that societies can be pushed beyond their limits and react in ways that defy their education and manner (Wolfson, 2003).
In referencing the great leaders of the world one cannot ignore the tremendous impact that Jesus Christ had on mankind. Whether one is a Christian or not, one cannot deny that Jesus provided a foundation from which many millions of people have based their lives.
Through the teachings of Jesus Christ many leaders have incorporated religion and spirituality into their prayer (Hult, 2003). American money has "In God We trust" imprinted on it and witnesses called to testify in court are asked to place their hands on the bible and say that they will tell the truth "So Help Them God."
The influence of Jesus on the world today is so deeply ingrained in society that it is almost invisible but if one looks one will find his touch in almost every aspect of life.
In trying to choose five great leaders among the many leaders that the world has had throughout history one must narrow the scope of the search. Choosing two past presidents, two civil rights leaders and Jesus Christ provides an overview of many of the foundational backdrops for society today.
The presidents helped shape the nation as it is known today, while the civil rights leaders worked to right the wrongs that society put forth under the guise of acceptable attitudes. Jesus Christ, whether one is a Christian or not cannot be denied as one of the most influential men of all time. Leaders today base many of their current decisions on what leaders of the past already set up. When it comes to past presidents Washington and Jefferson set the stage for the rest of American history. When it comes to civil rights King and Dubois laid the groundwork to demand what the constitution promises and when it comes to turning the other cheek, Jesus Christ provided the very fabric of the meaning of forgiveness. Combined, these five men produced the blueprint for a peaceful and fair society which makes them five of the greatest leaders of all time. n m
Greenstein, Alan (2006) Presidential difference in the early republic: the highly disparate leadership styles of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson.(George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson) From: Presidential Studies Quarterly
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Hult, Karen M. 2003. The Bush White House in comparative perspective. In The George W. Bush presidency: An early assessment, edited by Fred I. Greenstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Kielbowicz, Richard B. 1983. The press, post office, and flow of news in the early republic. Journal of the Early Republic 3: 225-80.
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