Given the huge diversity of opinions and viewpoints on Politics.ie, I thought it would be interesting to hear who, throughout human history, have inspired you or who you admire and look up to. Bear in mind that this can include people from all walks of life, and is not restricted to political figures or leaders.
My own list of heroes include people from a political and apolitical background:
- John Hume: A man I hugely admire for going against the tide of radicalism and sectarian hatred, and who was solely interested in equality and the achievement of a lasting peace in war-ravaged Northern Ireland. I think he absolutely deserves the title of Ireland's Greatest as of all the Irish politicians of the 20th century his was a truly admirable cause and his legacy, along with those of unionist peacemakers, is one of peace and cooperation.
- Martin Luther King Jr: A hero many people will probably also share, as his commitment to civil rights makes him an embodiment of the struggle for equality across the world, and his vision for a future without prejudice is a admirable one.
- Carl Sagan: An unsung hero and visionary whose commitment to spreading the message of science and of the Cosmos I hold in very high regard. As a person who shares his interest in astronomy I think his recognition of our place in the vastness of the Universe and how this remoteness warrants cooperation rather than division is one that is often forgotten amongst so many people here on Earth.
- Lionel Messi: Probably not a hero in the sense that he has left a huge legacy but his amazing skill combined with his brilliant sportsmanship is often so rare in soccer.
- Nicolaus Copernicus: In the face of scientific repression, his commitment to the heliocentric theory (the belief that the Sun, not the Earth, is the centre of the Solar System) helped to kick start the Scientific Revolution which has brought us to where we are today. I think he is a role model for leading inquiry and questioning what many perceive to be the given, even if it goes in the face of deeply held assumptions.
These are just a few of the figures in history that I hold in high regard. What are yours?