Theodore Roosevelt once said, “A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy.” This quote illustrates his belief that a great country can be advanced through challenge and pursuit of the innovative. Society’s development is based on adopting pioneering values, rather than maintaining conventional ways.
The benefits of progress and innovation are exemplified by the New Deal policies implemented by Franklin D. Roosevelt. As a response to the Great Depression, President Roosevelt implemented a daring and novel set of policy reforms, known as the New Deal. Unlike President Herbert Hoover’s conservative approaches to solving economic problems associated with the Great Depression, New Deal programs effectively assisted in restoring the U.S. economy. The results of New Deal programs were telling: eventually the bank system became stable again, new jobs were created for the unemployed, and crop prices were raised to assist farms. Although both Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover attempted to improve the U.S. economy, it was Roosevelt who succeeded in the end due to his progressive new policies. The New Deal typifies the benefits that forward thinking can confer.
Tim Flannery’s book, The Weather Makers, demonstrates how advancing our views is essential to saving humanity. The book addresses the issue of global warming, and illustrates how perspectives about the environment have changed throughout time. In the past, natural resources were regarded as materials to be exploited by humans for development. However, nowadays people realize that the supply of natural resources is limited and their reckless use jeopardizes the planet. As a result of this newfound understanding, people can now actively prevent the upcoming environmental crisis, which is essential for the survival of the Earth and humankind. The Weather Makers emphasizes how new ideas are the key to overcoming crises.
Herman Cain, a columnist, businessman, and politician, once said, "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success." His proverb emphasizes that prosperity without contentment is worthless. To be completely successful in life, one must pursue moral values that nurture true meaning.
Johns Hopkins is an exemplary figure who strived for ethical pursuits and lived an admirable life. Unlike many charitable people, Johns Hopkins was born into an opulent home, with a tobacco plantation and over five hundred black slaves. However, as a pious person, he voluntarily emancipated his slaves when he became one of the heads of the house. He and his brothers started a new conveyance business without any servile labor. Through this period, he experienced the accomplishment of his own work and realized the true value of morally driven success. Throughout his life, Johns Hopkins assisted President Abraham Lincoln in the abolition of slavery and was associated with charitable work. In addition, at the end of his life, he donated most of his fortune to education systems and hospitals. His altruistic life and benevolent humanity show that helping others leads to true fulfillment.
“Macbeth,” by William Shakespeare, is a classic depiction of the direct link between immorality and misfortune. Macbeth, the protagonist of the play, is a valiant Scottish noble loyal to his king, Duncan. However, after he defeats a rebellion against Duncan, the three witches of the oracle confront him and prophesy that Macbeth will one day be king. Macbeth and his wife are consumed with greed, and Macbeth uses the king’s visit to his home as an opportunity to commit regicide. Even after gaining the throne, Macbeth is driven to brutally murder all who might challenge or pose a threat to him. However, now a full-fledged tyrant, Macbeth never achieves any semblance of peace: he is wracked with guilt and paranoia, and by the end of the book suffers a violent, bloody death. Lady Macbeth, also haunted by the ghosts of her victims, commits suicide. Macbeth’s short-lived “success” ends up actually being a curse, as all his status, wealth, and power cannot replace his lost honor and the purity of his soul. The message is clear: a life led by immorality is ultimately one doomed to failure.
To emphasize singularity, Albert Einstein once said, “Let every man judge according to his own standards, by what he has himself read, not by what others tell him.” Although the general public may ostracize divergent concepts, having a distinctive idea is better than chasing the widespread trends of popular culture. Pursuing one’s individuality in spite of overwhelming opposition can produce significant developments for society.
One example of the power of embracing distinction is the invention of the Macintosh computer by Apple, Inc. Before Macs popularized, Microsoft Windows was the ubiquitous software on the market without foreseeable competition. To contend with their competitor, Apple made their system exceptional by concentrating on inventive design and well-programmed contents. In addition, they largely developed their system for education and business industries. Continuing their singular strategy, the company also produced the iPod, iPhone, and iPad products with their characteristic features and design-savvy. If Apple had trailed the steps of their greatest challenger, they would have failed to develop the very values that so successfully distinguish them. Apple’s prominent status illustrates that the key to success is often a pioneer approach that defies the status quo.
Another case of brilliant unconventionality is German animator Oskar Wilhelm Fischinger, an avant-garde artist who fused classical music and abstract animation. After World War I, out of revulsion and contempt towards the insanity and demolition of the war, some European artists tried to thwart tradition by expressing their despair through experimental art forms. Fischinger illustrated this sentiment in creating a new style later termed “abstract animation.” Other artists initially rejected his extraordinary film because it was somewhat inscrutable and defiant to society. Today, however, his works influence most modern music videos and they are evaluated as historical and artistic legacies. Although his works were utterly dissimilar from common tradition, they eventually proved to hold incredible value. Fischinger’s boldness in creating something revolutionary demonstrates how individual uniqueness can have a remarkable influence on society.