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214. To Be Great Is to Be Misunderstood  
20:43:00, January 22nd, 2008
 
 
John Henry Holliday, DDS
This, John thinks, is ridiculous.

The thought is the comfort of talented children trapped in circumstances that hold their bodies and perhaps warp their hearts, while their minds reach for something if not higher, then surely more. He thinks of a wild bird caught indoors, beating its wings to propel itself through a closed window, expending its energy until it is forced to flap frustrated on the floor.

Sometimes such children become great. Sometimes events continue to ensure they are thwarted. Sometimes they nurse this phrase as justification of failure and never reach for greatness. Sometimes those without talent cling to this thought when they are not recognised, holding it as proof of greatness they do not hold. Sometimes those who become great were children raised with love and opportunity. There is no formula.

John had taken comfort in this thought at home as a boy after his mother had died. he had honed mind and hand, waiting in resentment to be freed to become great. He knows the comfort of the thought is necessary, for there is little else when you are brilliant and all alone but the thought that you will show them all, someday, someday, someday. It is the reason he so avidly encourages education and study. Schools are a means of escape from misunderstanding and if they can offer tools, ideas, and intellectual companionship, they can offer hope and the breeze of fresh air if not freedom. It can offer a real possibility of someday.

"To be great is to be misunderstood." This can spur those who are both brilliant and supressed to greatness, that they might justify the comfort they derived from it in childhood. But it is a delusion.

Greatness gives one voice and influence.

To be misunderstood is to fail to communicate, whether the fault lies with the actor or the audience.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 309
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
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 attic_nights
 
22:03:07, January 25th, 2008 (UTC)
 
 
Lord Crispin FitzRoy: Hand
Greatness gives one voice and influence.

To be misunderstood is to fail to communicate, whether the fault lies with the actor or the audience.


Do these two taken together suggest that a great man, in order to have influence, must be possessed of a great audience?
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 john_h_holliday
 
17:36:03, January 26th, 2008 (UTC)
 
 
John Henry Holliday, DDS: Dental office 1874
Not necessarily. I am not prepared to discuss a great audience at this time. Does a great audience, like a great man, possess voice and influence? Is a great audience one that succeeds in understanding? One might argue this last, but a great man may be misunderstood and yet have voice and influence. And there is the question of number, as in Tonks comment. If one person understanding and changing gives a man voice and influence, then how does that person balance against, for instance five people misunderstanding? Or what if the five people have wealth and power and the single person is a sympathetic and well-informed friend? In short, the definitions necessary are not something I can at this time address. What had you meant by 'great audience?'
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