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

Essay by guaixiongD+, July 2004

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When we retrospect our history, we are not surprised to find so many great persons whose brilliances enlight the development of human's civilization, despositing achievements and accomplishments in all aspects of people's lives, such as literature, painting, astronomy, religion and so on. While most of the geniuses were not regarded so great nowadays as in their eras, there greatness would have to be objectively evaluated by the people in a later time.

As is stated by a saying "The truth is born from the struggle to the powerful authorities", a person's achievements of theory would inevitably conflict with the contemporary cultures, traditions and religions in that era, which caused the original and ingenious thoughts and theories to be viewed as hetrodox and rejected by the mainstream. Cases in point exist along the history. For example, Copernicus's heliocentric theory was a direct attack upon the accepted wisdom in the 16th century, the geocentric view of the universe postulated by Aristotle and Ptolemy, and when Darwin first declared that the wide variety of animal species was due to the process of evolution, he challenged the traditional Christian beliefs then cause the outrage from the religious authorities.

Furthermore, great individuals usually hold the progressive thoughts and opinions that extend greatly beyond the cognitive scopes of the contemporary, in that they are hardly acceptable and understood by others living in the same age, though they are awarded the deserved fames and reputations from the people belonging to a later time. Van Gogh's great work of "The Helianthus" is only regarded as the masterpiece nearly hundreds of years after his dearth. And even up to now, most people do not have the capability and imagination to discern or descirpe the figures and collages that Picsso has discovered from his unique soul. While such misunderstanding of...