1) Are people who make a difference always popular? 2) Can ordinary people make a difference?1) Are people who make a difference always popular? 2) Can ordinary people make a difference?

4 Answers | Add Yours

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Of the people who often make the biggest differences, the biggest changes over the long term, I would say many if not most of them were unpopular. Making changes involves challenging the status quo, and there is usually resistance in society to those changes on some level. As for the second part of your question, I would say that ordinary people often become EXTRAORDINARY by being persistent in their pursuit of genuine progressive change, and will tend to be more popular, believe it or not, after they die. (Lincoln and Kennedy come to mind)
litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

No, people who make a difference are not always popular.  They often are not.  They do not like the status quo, and most people will hold onto the status quo with all of their energy.  Making a difference is hard, often thankless work.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Of course people who make a difference are not always popular.  In order to make a difference, you typically have to be somewhat aggressive or assertive.  This can make you unpopular.  You have to try to upset the status quo.  This can make you unpopular as well.  If you are in high school, people might think you're some kind of weirdo if you are trying hard to improve things.  So no, people who make a difference are not always popular.

As long as you're not looking for people to make a large-scale difference, then yes, ordinary people can make a difference.  For example, an ex-student of mine who overcame cancer and a very impoverished background comes back to her school every so often to talk to kids from the same migrant worker, poor background about going to college and achieving.  She's not going to end poverty, but she may impact the lives of a few of those kids and that's important.

jamcclelland's profile pic

jamcclelland | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

1) By popular, I assume you mean liked or highly regarded.  There are leaders in history who have made a huge difference in our world but they were not popular.  For example, Hitler made an difference - he created a war in which the majority of the free world participated.

2) Ordinary people make differences all of the time.  Sully, the airline pilot who saved all of those lives, is a great example.

 

We’ve answered 318,928 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question