I believe that to be misunderstood is to be great. If people are not quite understanding what it is you are saying, that is a true sign that you are great. Some examples of people who we now see as great, are Galileo, Jesus, and Thoreau. These are all people who, during their lives, were seen as borderline crazy, and in the first two cases, heretics.
Galileo was an Italian scientist who believed, based on discoveries in the sky that the earth actually revolved around the sun, instead of vice versa. For this statement, he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, an act recently reversed only decades ago when the Church released a statement saying it was wrong. Too bad Galileo died years and years before. People misunderstood Galileo’s discovery for heresy, and in a time when everything was based on religion, it must have been difficult for the Italian scientist to live a normal life.
Jesus. The very name sparks controversy even today, yet it is a fact that both historically and religiously, this man was certainly great. Over the course of his extremely well known life, Jesus was understood as one of the following: a great prophet, a second Elijah, or even a rebel against the Roman Empire. Unfortunately for all who thought they knew what they were talking about, each of these suggestions is wrong. Theologically speaking, Jesus was the Messiah, the one who had come to take away sin and restore life.
Thoreau, the great romantics writer, was heavily misunderstood in his time, and even now, occasionally. People tend to think of him as a smart person who led a clearly “un-ambitious” life. However, these people are terribly wrong. Thoreau was not un-ambitious, he just had ambitions that most people did not understand or realize. He wanted to understand and prove what life was all about. He wanted to become aware of what how individual parts of his day were made up, exactly how does one build a house, how much does it cost, and how effective is this dwelling? In short, he was a seeker of knowledge like many great thinkers, just not necessarily the same knowledge most people tend to look for.
The Life of Jesus The New Testament is mainly based on the life of Jesus and the early church. Heis known as the son of God though his parents were Mary and Joseph. Jesus was born in a stable in city of Bethlehem as there was no room in the inns. Once he was born, Mary had no crib to place him in, so they made one with a troth and some straw. Three Kings and some shepherds came to visit him. The ...
Overall, this proves that the greatest of the historically famous people were actually widely misunderstood, especially in their time. But this is actually a refreshing thought. For those of us who are misunderstood, at least we can generally assume that after we die people are going to think of us as great. Also, for those of us who may not really be misunderstood…well, we have nothing to worry about because at least while we are alive people will not treat us like we are crazy.
There is however, the opposite side to this saying. Some things can be flip-flopped, yet this is not one of them. You can say “ to be misunderstood is to be great”, but you can not say “to be great is to be misunderstood”. Not every single person we consider great has been misunderstood. In fact, several of them have been equally great and understood. It is of my belief, then, that this is like math. In Geometry (and most likely several other classes) we learn all about “if, then” statements. This is one of them. It can be read the way it is intended to be read, but any other way will result in a false statement, for not all people who are great have been misunderstood.