How the History’s Most Hated People Taught Us about Life
“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
~ Winston Churchill
Historical figures of the past have taught people several lessons about life, people, work, wisdom, and everything in between. In fact, our parents and grandparents might reflect on as historical figures to teach us a lesson about life.
On top of your head, you can probably name a few do-gooders from history who have faced great challenges in life, but have overcome them. We ask; what have you learned from the most hated people in history? Just as we thought, nothing!
Even though we may not necessarily agree with them, we can still learn from their failures, their successes, and their character traits. The villains of history that made our list include:
1. Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan, the emperor of the Mongol Empire, united several nomadic tribes found in Northeast Asia. In history, he is acclaimed by some historians of bridging the gap between Asia, Middle East, and West by bringing the Silk Road under one political rule. However, other historians offer another image of him, as a ruler whose army mercilessly killed a number of civilians. Putting the two perceptions of the Mongol ruler aside, he believed that in order to lead effectively, one needs to swallow their pride.
2. Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis was a cruel man known for his cruel treatment to slaves and being responsible for taking the lives of a million people during the Civil War. In his efforts to win the Civil War, he made one of the biggest mistakes of his life, a mistake that eventually cost him to lose the Civil War. He appointed his friends to higher positions for which they were not qualified for and sided with them even if they made a mistake.
3. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar, the dictator of the Roman Republic or as you may recall, the lover of Cleopatra. You may also know him as the ruler who caused the demise of Roman Republic. He let the power go to his head, and began to ignore the rulings of the senate. When he died, the Roman Republic died with him, as he had killed off strong republican supporters to assume power after him.
4. Doc Holiday
Doc Holiday was a known gambler and expert gunfighter, but he was more known for his friendship with Wyatt Earp. He blindly listened to Earp without questioning his judgments, teaching people about loyalty.
5. William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman defied the contract of the South by taking aim at civilians and their resources. His superiors warned him not to march south, but he did not listen, as he had the utmost trust in his abilities, even if others did not.
You might not like these men, but that should not prevent you from using them as a source to learn, if not inspiration. Then again, you do not have to learn from the mistakes of these villainous historical figures, as you may have some in real life whose mistakes you can learn from.
A Selection of Quotes About Learning from Mistakes
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” ~ Kevyn Aucoin
“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” ~ John C. Maxwell
“I’m most proud of the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, in my life. He’s given me the vision to truly see that you can fall down, but you can still get back up. Hopefully I’ll learn from my mistakes and have the opportunity to strengthen and improve the next thing I do.” ~ Martin Lawrence
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ~ Johnny Cash
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