9 People Who Changed the World
Published February 13th, 2020
Where we are today is thanks to the people who helped shape our history. They are the people who made an indelible mark and an incredible legacy that lives on until now.
These people came from all walks of life, with varying ethnicity and social station. But their bravery and ingenuity have transformed civilization forever. Their inspirational tales show that no matter who you are, we all have the potential to change the world. (Related: Top Motivational Movies Based on True Stories)
If you’re still doubting your capability to make a change, here are people you should look up to for inspiration:
Jesus of Nazareth
In scholarly circles, there is still an ongoing debate on the real identity of Jesus of Nazareth. But the religion he founded has become one of the most prominent in the world.
Born over 2,000 years ago to a family of humble origins, he grew up at a time when the Roman Empire was at its peak. In his 30’s, Jesus started his ministry and would travel across the region to preach.
Unlike other preachers of his time, Jesus never cared about race. He preached even to the Gentiles (non-Jew). His teachings about love and forgiveness resonated with many people. From a few hundred followers, Christianity now has millions of believers around the world.
Unlike Jesus of Nazareth, Gautama Buddha was born in wealth. But like Jesus, his teachings became the foundation of one of the world’s major religions: Buddhism.
Buddha was born into an aristocratic family in a small kingdom on the Indian subcontinent. Following a personal epiphany, he decided to give up all his worldly possessions in favor of an ascetic lifestyle. He practiced meditation and pursued spiritual enlightenment.
Buddha may have lived thousands of years ago but his life and teachings continue to influence people around the world.
Are you fond of air travel? You should thank the Wright brothers for making it possible.
Wilbur and Orville Wright designed, built and flew the world’s first successful aircraft in 1905. Before this, traveling long-distances usually takes a few days to a few months. Air travel cuts that travel time by more than half paving the way for globalization.
Their aviation journey wasn’t all honey and roses though. They experienced setbacks and disappointments. Many people also doubted them and they had to constantly fight for patent rights. Despite this, the brothers pressed on and their legacy made life a lot easier for generations to come. (Related: Types of Goals Everyone Should Aspire To)
Dubbed as “The Living Saint”, Mother Teresa’s work influenced the world’s view of charity. Leaving her comfortable life behind, she dedicated her days making life better for others.
But she did not just give alms to the poor. She lived with them, dined with them, and shared their sorrows. Though she grew up in wealth, her time in the slums of Calcutta gave her a deeper understanding of poverty. Her efforts brought to light some of the world’s most pressing social problems.
An explorer and navigator, Cristopher Columbus opened the way for European exploration and conquest of the New World. This colonization changed the course of history forever.
Historians often debate Columbus’ legacy. Some regard him as a daring adventurer who started a new era of exploration. While others blame him for the destruction of the native population in the lands he discovered. But one thing is for sure: the world wouldn’t be what it is today if he hadn’t set out to sail the world.
Had Thomas Edison given up on his experiments, the world’s industrial revolution would have started many years later than it did.
Edison was credited with various inventions including the electric light bulb and the phonograph. He also established the first inventor-owned electric utility. With more than a thousand patents, his inventions pioneered an era of innovations.
Tim Berners Lee
You wouldn’t be reading this article right now if not for Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee. He is an English engineer and computer scientist best known for inventing the world wide web. And as we all know, the internet gave birth to the digital age we are living in right now.
A biologist, physician, microbiologist, and pharmacologist, Sir Alexander Fleming’s most enduring legacy is the discovery of penicillin.
In World War I, more soldiers were dying from infected wounds than from any other causes. But with the discovery of penicillin, many soldiers were saved from such fate during the second world war. His discovery also ushered in an era of modern antibiotics which, today, is saving many lives around the world.
A lot credited of people credited Abraham Lincoln for ending slavery in the US. But very few people realize that the British government had already abolished slavery in its soils decades earlier. And all that started because a politician named William Wilberforce made a stand.
Wilberforce was a Member of Parliament from 1784 to 1812. After becoming an evangelical Christian, he started to support humanitarian reforms. After coming into contact with anti-slave trade activists, he took on their cause. Soon enough, he became the country’s leading abolitionist. His campaign, which lasted decades, led to the enactment of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a firm believer in the power of knowledge when it comes to whole body donation and she wants to share her experience with the world. She also loves to write about food and art.