With
the possibility of creating a truly equal America, Martin Luther King Jr. joined
the fight for civil rights for African Americans and left a significant and an
everlasting impact for future generations. Seeking equality and human rights
for African Americans, King exhibited greatness throughout his many nonviolent civil
rights campaigns. He spread his message of the importance of equality through
“methods of non-violent civic activism that
included city-wide economic boycotts, sit-ins, speeches, and public marches” (“Fighting
for Equal Rights”). Despite being arrested numerous times, King never gave up
on his dream. His “I Have a Dream” speech that was given on the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington inspired millions of
people nationwide and is now viewed as one of the most influential speeches in
American history. As a result of this powerful speech, Congress passed the
Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the National Voting Rights Act in 1965. Even
though legislation was passed, King continued to work tirelessly in
hopes of implementing equality throughout communities. Greatness, the power of influencing others and maturing as a
person is attainable through hard work, confidence, determination, consistency,
practice, and manifesting a long-term desire and may be immutable if an
accomplishment changes the course of history; even if an individual demonstrates
all of these essential building blocks, greatness on a large scale is a
one-in-a-million thing.

            Described as
the power of influencing others and maturing as a person, greatness is
something to strive for. Once a person is noticed and becomes an important member
of the public eye, they will likely influence others to either follow in their
footsteps or stand up for something they believe in. The epitome of greatness
is to influence others to be brave, take risks, get their ideas out there, and
fight for what they believe in. Everyone that is regarded as great has begun at
the bottom and eventually matures in both their skill and as a person. In order
to mature in skill and as a person, one must make mistakes and learn from them.
By acknowledging those mistakes, an individual will be able to put their fear
of failure aside, develop confidence, and mature. If progression begins to come
to a halt, it may be an indication that a change in routine is necessary for
continued growth. Even when an individual believes they have
reached their maximum potential, there is always room to improve and
experimenting with different scenarios until one is helpful defines greatness.

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            Hard work,
confidence, and determination serve as essential components for laying down the
groundwork for achieving greatness. No one is automatically born “great,” so
one must work tirelessly and put in years of demanding effort in order to be
noticed. When a person learns to embrace the importance of hard work, they have
the fuel to accomplish something great. Even though “hard work may be painful
and uncomfortable, it’s the only way to the top” (Oppong). While putting in hard
work may not catapult a person into the number one position, they will at least
surely trail close behind. However, endless years of hard work may mean nothing
if one does not also possess confidence. Confidence allows individuals to
remain courageous even when things may not go the right way. While there may be
backlash from people who do not agree with a certain idea or action, individuals
cannot be afraid of ridicule. Confident people must accept the fact that there
will always be people who disagree with them, but if that individual believes
in themselves and puts in extremely hard work to get their message out there,
they will be able to accomplish their dream. If an individual repeatedly tells
themselves that they will make it big time and be able to influence others,
there is a higher chance of success. Because life is full of ups and downs, determination
is also essential for achieving greatness. No matter how many obstacles a
person runs into, those who pick themselves back up and continue to strive
toward their goal will be greatly admired. No one’s life is perfect, so people
must find a way to overcome their struggles and challenges and turn them into
something that will make them stronger and more determined to accomplish their desires.
Mistakes should not bring down a person or encourage someone to give up, they
should be able to motivate people to learn from those mistakes and continue to
push toward their long-term goal. While the thought of giving up may reside
deep in someone’s mind, those who will become great are the ones who will push
themselves to keep going, no matter the circumstances.

            Consistency,
practice, and a long-term desire are necessary for greatness after a foundation
has already been laid. To successfully build an influence and spread ideas,
consistency is vital. If an individual is “consistently motivated by the same
principles, people will trust that these ideas are solid and reliable” (DeMers).
Consistently preaching a concept out in the public eye will make it easier for
people to accept a certain viewpoint and in turn, help build a following. Not
only will consistency better spread a point of view, it will also show others that
extensive dedication is certainly involved. In addition to spreading ideas, consistency
is central to improving one’s performance. If someone can follow through and
maintain consistency, they’ll be considerably ahead of the pack. While
consistency is certainly vital for achieving greatness, consistent deliberate
practice is what the best people in any field devote their time to. It is not
about mindlessly practicing the same thing over and over, it is about aiming to
perfect a skill, be it orating or golfing. Deliberate
practice is an “activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance, that
reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence” (Colvin). Without
practice, performance dwindles as emphasized by Vladimir Horowitz when he stated
that “if he doesn’t practice for a day, he knows it. If he doesn’t
practice for two days, his wife knows it. If he doesn’t practice for three
days, the world knows it” (qtd. in Colvin). Even though a person may maintain
consistency and follow through with deliberate practice, under all of that must
reside a long-term desire. Without a true desire, accomplishing greatness may
never be possible. One must put their entire heart and soul into their goal or else
failure is likely to occur. If the
intent of achieving greatness is to impress others, an individual’s efforts may
be doomed from the beginning. One must strive for their goal through
their own desires and intentions and the title of greatness may soon follow.

            Greatness may be
immutable if an accomplishment is so significant that it changes the course of
history. Often, individuals that perpetuate immutability bring about a brand-new
idea or way of thinking and are also not afraid of being different and offering
that unique view. Presenting something so significantly different may be able
to touch the lives of millions throughout generations to come. Even though many
people look up to singers or athletes as role models or to depict greatness, their
greatness is usually mutable. They may provide entertainment for millions of people;
however, their influence may only endure throughout one or two generations. While
greatness is usually recognized in a broader sense of the world, greatness can
reside on a personal level as well. Because parents or grandparents can make a
difference in someone’s life, their greatness and significance are likely to be
immutable. With the determination and desire to raise a child right, parents work
hard to forever instill moral values into their child in hopes to shape them
into a caring and loving person. Parents may not spread greatness to the entire
world, but they will spread their influence and greatness to their children. Even
if an individual has successfully worked through the many building blocks,
achieving greatness on a large-scale is something that is never guaranteed
because it is so demanding, both physically and mentally. If becoming great was
easy, then greatness would lose its meaning and become a common thing. With a
growing population, there is also growing competition, but luckily “greatness
isn’t reserved for a preordained few” (Colvin). 

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