Greatness Is Never Achieved Alone: The People Who Stood Behind The Talented People Who Changed The World - By Daniel Sheridan
I love history. One area of study I have devoted a good portion of my time to is Ancient Egypt. The history of the rediscovery of this incredible civilization illustrates the point of my title. It wasn't the "educated" and "privileged" who brought this civilization to light, but those with a real passion for knowledge and the desire to share it with the world. What's even more important is that someone stood behind these heroes, both emotionally and financially, to help them meet their goals. Talent and passion, without the help of supporters, leave the rest of us the worse off.
It was Giovanni Battista Belzoni, the performer turned discoverer, and not his arrogant and self-seeking rival, Bernardino Drovetti, who revealed the tomb of Rameses the Great to the world. Belzoni wanted to share his discoveries with everyone, and his efforts aided Champollion a few years later. His wife Sarah was his rock, and she inspired and kept him going through adversity.
It was Howard Carter, the artist, and not Theodore Davis, the arrogant aristocrat, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. Lord Carnarvon believed in Carter and funded his work.
It was Champollion, and not Thomas Young, the privileged aristocrat, who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics. Champollion's brother, recognizing his sibling's abilities, funded his education, and supported his every endeavor. "Never has any century been so interested in history as that which followed the voyage of young Champollion with young Napoleon to Egypt; Napoleon returned empty-handed, but Champollion came back with all Egypt, past and current, in his grasp. Every generation since has discovered new civilizations or cultures, and has pushed farther and farther back the frontier of man's knowledge of his development. There are not many things finer in our murderous species than this noble curiosity, this restlessness and reckless passion to understand." All this was possible because a brother stood behind his brother!
Not all of us can be a Champollion, a Belzoni, or a Howard Carter; but we can be Belzoni's wife, Carter's Carnarvon, and Champollion's brother.
Greatness is never achieved alone!