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Is society’s admiration for famous people beneficial or harmful?

Updated on May 24, 2013

A group has great power!

It can be both - an essay.

This admiration or disdainfulness allows people to either strive to achieve similar goals, as the role model has, or exactly the contrary – to endeavor to be as different as possible.

A very beneficial example of society’s high esteem of an individual occurred only half a century ago. Millions admired Martin Luther King. After his peaceful protest and civil rights movements, King became a role model for many young Americans, regardless of race and skin colour. Society’s respect for the famous protector of equal rights was not only favourable for a single person or a small group. Martin Luther King’s exemplified persona and the regard for his views positively changed a whole nation, if not the whole world. Although a madman murdered Dr. King, society’s appreciation for Martin Luther benefited millions of people.

On the other hand, society’s admiration for an individual may lead to dire consequences. For instance, a few years before the Second World War, a young, enthusiastic and proud nationalist took over the German Nationalist Party and in 1924 the whole German government. Adolf Hitler was loved by society to such an extent that a cult was created to spread his hateful ideas. The admiration of Hitler’s character was harmful to millions of people and also led to the death of over 40 million people during the war. What begun with simple appraisal of thoughts, ended in a movement, which desolated the whole of Europe and its people.

However, one must not necessarily take historical evidence as proof that society’s admiration for famous people is beneficial or harmful. For example, someone I personally highly respect is the renowned quantum physicist Stephan Hawking. Despite his neurone disease, which has paralyzed him and disabled his speech Hawking is still lecturing and a powerful motivational force for many individuals, including myself. He has become successful and overcome multiple obstacles and hindrances. I see him as a person to look up to and admire due to his strong determined spirit.

Thus, one can observe that famous people, who are praised by society may have powerful effects on an individual or a whole nations, both positively and negatively. There effects may be constructive and motivational or utterly destructive, but exact understanding and perception of famous persons depends on the actions and thoughts of each individual human being.

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Is society's admiration for famous people beneficial or harmful?

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