Responsibility Is The Price Of Greatness Essays

Assignment: Do we expect too much from our public figures? Plan your response and then write an essay.

Our political leaders are not necessarily heroes, but represent the will of people, who delegate the responsibility for decision-making to public figures who have gained their trust. Do we put too much emphasis on people’s moral values when we expect them to lead a country? Is power unquestionably associated to corruption? “The price of greatness is responsibility.” As history shows, great political leaders eventually abuse the responsibility they have.

Citizens’ expectations are an important category in politics, since they determine the long-term strategies of the government. If citizens have high expectations, political figures have to work much harder to gain the trust on the following elections. If, however, the expectations of the citizens are low, the government will be able to maintain the positive image without much effort.

When we analyze people’s hopes about the development of our society, we will notice that most of them have specific expectations that the government cannot meet. However, most people would prefer not to contribute to the decisions that are being made, but still expect the system to develop in their favor. The aspiration to enjoy the benefits of democracy without making contribution to good governance is utopia.

When the citizens give up on their own responsibilities and expect public figures to control the society in their favor, the rulers start working for their own interests. Although the governments always claim to work for the wellbeing of their people, the leaders don’t make proper decision without being pressured from citizens. We can never expect too much from public figures.

It is our responsibility to urge them to realize the promises they made before gaining power. In this case, idealism is always better than realism. People who call themselves realistic adhere to Orwell’s statement “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

They believe that all politicians are the same; they only care about their personal interests and that’s how it always will be. If a political figure is abusing the responsibility, people tend to justify him as long as he does “something good”.

The so-called soft authoritarianism creates a false image of the social life, since the real dynamics of the society’s development is being suffocated with a form of propaganda called spinning. When the citizens reconcile with the notion that “politicians are just people with flaws, it’s only expected from them to make mistakes,” the country start sinking with an intimidating pace.

In my opinion, all politicians who abuse power and don’t care about meeting people’s expectations should bear liability. Our cynicism and assurance that no current or future politician could fully protect the interests of citizens is working against us.

We do not expect too much from our public figures. In fact, we tend to expect too little. Our limitations prevent us from delegating responsibility to truly honest leaders who haven’t achieved “reputation” by lobbying and political spins.

As long as we tend to delegate the process of decision-making to leaders who have already failed us, our society will not progress. Political figures are normal human beings, but that doesn’t mean we should expect them to be corrupted. People have the power to supervise, so we should stop overlooking our leaders’ trivial and serious mistakes.

Read new assignment prompt“Is it possible to maintain conflicting loyalties?” – by Eric Felten


I love my country and it pains me deeply to think we may never live up to the aspirations of our founding fathers. As we sit here today waiting for the next act in the soap opera we call politics as usual, doesn’t it seem like just another rerun? The President is going to give another soundbite speech, this time about job creation, and then the usual cast of characters from the media and both sides of the aisle will express their partisan concerns while hawking their must-read books and then it will be followed by something even more newsworthy like the next hurricane. Our incessant need for the next big story feeds this never-ending saga and the result is always more of the same. Welcome to the 21st century, where nothing actually gets done.

The price of greatness is responsibility. That’s a pretty high price apparently because no one in a position of leadership in this country wants to take responsibility and we, the people, hold no one accountable. We all like to call America, the greatest country on earth, but are we? For all of our democratic advantages we haven’t reached the summit as much as we have set up base camp. We seem to be perfectly happy with just having more than any other country, even if it means we have to borrow trillions of dollars every year to pay for it all. That’s not greatness, that’s complacency.

We have so much more to accomplish and so much more freedom to share with other, less fortunate, people in the world but we will never get there if we settle for just being good enough. The whole world needs us to be great and to show how a free society is the best choice for all nations. The price is high but so what? Where else can we go to get a better opportunity than what we have here? We’re America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. That’s not just hyperbole, that’s a fact. No nation in history has ever done more for others than we have and we’re always the first to help and the last to leave. We even help our enemies once they have been defeated. What other country has ever done that? We have a 200 year tradition of bringing freedom to every corner of the globe and that is our manifest destiny. We cannot turn our backs on the very thing that makes us great.

It has been said that God only gives us as much as we can handle. Well, he must think we can handle this too. That’s all I need to know to keep trying. I will never accept mediocrity as an outcome worth living for and neither should you. We can overcome any obstacle put before us but we have to work together. Our common cause is too important to ever stop trying and if our leaders won’t lead, then the hell with them. Let them follow us for a change and they surely will once they realize we mean it. The price of greatness is responsibility. We are ultimately responsible for whatever happens to us, not the media or the politicians, just us. As soon as we accept that responsibility and man-up for the hard work and sacrifice that is sure to come, we will all have something to look forward to, a better world for generations to come. Isn’t that the legacy we want for our children and grandchildren?

I know it looks like our way of life is nothing more than a flickering candle right now but it won’t take long to make that small flame become a bonfire when we have the courage to do what’s right. What’s right is more important than party affiliation, race, color, gender or faith and it will surely bring us together in ways that nothing else can. America is the first country to ever be founded on basic human rights and that is the key to our greatness. We are free because our ancestors fought and died for those rights. They paid the ultimate price to give us everything we have today, so how can we do less for those who come after us?

The price of greatness is responsibility. Who’s with me?

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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