One of the country’s greatest military and political leaders was a man named George Washington. Not only did he defeat an army that was superior to his own in training, equipment, and numbers (the British army), he also saved the United States from the tyranny that concluded so many revolutions and established a constitutional democracy (“the people’s government). What was the secret to his success?
For all the respect, praise, and positions that he was offered, George Washington remained a very selfless person. Washington never paid attention to money, fame, and glory, and turned down command of the army and the presidency several times. If George Washington had a choice on where to stay and what to do for the rest of his life, he would have stayed in Mount Vernon because he enjoyed creating agricultural innovations- he was a passionate farmer.
However, he left Mount Vernon twice in service of his country because he loved his country and wanted to leave behind something greater than himself. He tried his best to fight the injustice that his army and fought Congress throughout the war for the bare minimums to keep his army afloat because Washington was always concerned about the treatment of his army. At the end of the war, Washington wanted his soldiers to get paid for the service, but the government had no money. His soldiers saw his unselfish heart, and as a result his members all loved him and helped him get unanimously elected president.
The biggest thing that I learned from this passage is the long-term impact that leaders can make on their people, and the decisions that they make today will impact everybody in the long run. The moment Washington was offered presidency, he could have been swept into a lap of luxury, extraordinary amounts of fame, and power of unequalled national office. He could have had the opportunity to turn the United States into a monarchy and crown himself “King George.”
Instead, he chose an unselfish form of government where the power belonged to the people, where the people had certain basic rights and liberties. I figured that if George Washington became power-hungry and decided to turn the United States into a monarchy where “King George” had all the power, the United States would be a lot different today (certainly not the “heaven of freedom” as it is today).
Therefore, I learned that I should take into consideration the welfare of my people when making a decision, so that my decisions will affect my people positively in the long run. Also, another thing I learned was the way that George Washington cared for and treated his people. I realized that his treatment of his people resulted in his popularity and respect. I learned that in order to gain true authority (when people willingly listen to you), I have to treat them well first.
I have to be selfless and put other people’s needs over my own, because not only am I creating true respect among my people, but I’m also fulfilling my purpose in life. When I lay on my deathbed and look back on my life, I want to be proud of what I have done for other people and how I have made their lives better (even through the little things). I don’t want to lay there, look back on my life, and see that all I cared about was getting money and glory for myself and not doing much for anybody.