Inspirational Icons

Above painting: Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara based on the world famous photo taken by Cuban photographer Alberto Korda

There are many heroic icons from the past, and all have their critics as well as supporters. All of the people in this post are known worldwide, therefore, I will write but a fraction about their lives and causes.

Due to media etc on occasions being corrupt and propaganda, we all have to decide for ourselves what we choose to believe. Nobody is perfect and people can easily make mistakes, and do things they later regret when they are passionate about emotive issues.

But for the best part I believe that the people addressed in this post were predominantly good people. Here they are in chronological order.

Charles Darwin 1809-1882

Was a naturalist, biologist and geologist born in England. He had one wife and five children. He died aged 73 of natural causes associated with old age. He was honoured with a burial in Westminster Abbey London.

Best know for his science of evolution by natural selection. It was customary in Darwin’s day to marry ones first cousin, due to this Darwin blamed himself for the death of one of his children, aged ten, as his research taught him such close genes could lead to weaknesses and ill health.

Darwin studied barnacles for so long, that one of his children believed that all dads did this🤭

Darwin put off publishing his findings for a considerable amount of time. This was due to the fact that it seriously contradicted his religious beliefs, and those of his family. His discoveries caused him much turmoil and dilemma, which led to his often ill health.

Nikola Tesla 1856-1943

Was one of five children, and never married. He was born in the country known today as Croatia, but during his time it was under Austrian rule. He died aged 86 of natural causes associated with old age. He was given a state funeral in New York City.

Of the icons in this post, more could be written about Tesla than any other. There is a great deal of enigma surrounding the truths of his life.

He spoke eight languages and was said to have a photographic memory.

He is best known for his design of alternating current (AC) in electricity. However, he was in fact responsible one way or another for a great deal more.

A lot of his inventions and discoveries were not actually credited to him, such as the dynamo, electrical generator and the induction motor.

He was a pioneer in, amongst other things, the discovery of X-rays and wireless communication.

He spent a great deal of his own money on research. Funding from governments and companies etc was not as freely given to him as to others. This was likely because of conflicting views.

It was due to lack of funding that Tesla lost credit for many things, which were later credited to others. Tesla could have contributed a great deal more to this world that would have been beneficial today, had he had sufficient funding…maybe the world was not ready?

It is my opinion that Tesla was a great man who was used and underappreciated.

Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948

Had one wife and two children. He was an Indian lawyer, widely known for leading a non violent resistance campaign for Indias independence from British rule.

His birth name is Mohāndās Karamchand Gandhi. ‘Mahatma’, as he is better known is Sanskrit for ‘high souled’

He was 79 when he was assassinated by Natharam Godse. Godse was hanged for his crime. Godse considered Gandhi too accommodating to muslims.

Over all Gandhi believed in the co-existence of all religions in peace.

Mother Teresa 1910-1997

Was Albanian by birth. She left home at the age of 18 and it is said, she never saw her family again. She died aged 87 of natural causes associated with old age.

She went to Ireland to join a convent and learn English with view to becoming a missionary.

She spent her life tending to the sick and poor in India and spoke 5 languages fluently.

Once she was recognised world wide, donations were constant and allowed her to oversee 517 missions in over 100 countries, sometimes travelling to various countries personally.

Like everyone she had her critics. It is said she reveled in poverty for her religious beliefs. It is said that there were times she could have made life easier for those in her care, but chose not to in the belief that suffering brought them closer to god.

She was accepting of other religion, in that she allowed people to die true to their chosen faith. For example reading the quran to muslims.

She was awarded ‘The Nobel Peace Prize’ in 1979. She was given a state funeral in India and remains a ‘saint’ to this day as she was canonized in 2016.

Nelson Mandela 1918- 2013

Fought against racism through activism and politics, best known for the anti apartheid movement.

He married twice and fathered 6 children. He died aged 95 of respitory tract infection, which he may have survied if not for old age.

He was imprisoned several times during his life, the last time in 1962 when he was given a life sentence, of which he served 27 years.

It is said that the last imprisonment was for leading a militant activist group to sabotage the government. However, some say it was for merely speaking out against apartheid.

He is widely regarded as an icon of democracy, but critics accused him of terrorism.

Mandela is a global icon who was awarded ‘The Nobel Peace Prize’ amongst other accolades from around the world.

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara 1928-1967

Ernesto was the eldest of five children. He was twice married and fathered 5 children. He died for what he believed in at the age of 39, he was murdered by a firing squad.

He was born in Argentina. Going travelling as a young man changed his life and his outlook, because of seeing unjust sufferings first hand, which disturbed him greatly.

He could never forget and he could never stand by and watch, he therefore did everything he could to change what he witnessed. He qualified as a medical doctor, but forsook this for his strong beliefs in human rights for all, regardless of money or status.

He tried to change things through politics, but ended up starting a revolution.

It has been quoted: ‘A legend is impervious to bullets!’ He is a national hero of Cuba. ‘Che’ was a nickname he was given, apparently because he often said ‘Che

Martin Luther King 1929-1968

Leader of the civil rights movement through non violence, and disobedience tactics.

Assassinated aged 39 in Memphis U.S.A

Had one wife and fathered four children.

Critics accused him of communism and adultery amongst other things.

He was awarded ‘The Nobel Peace Prize ‘ in 1964.


Many heroes made mistakes in doing the best they thought possible, in the best way they thought possible. It is always easy to lose sight of the main cause ‘peace and unity’ when things get complicated. Unfortunately all humans can in the moment, be folly to ego and sheepism, without questioning their heart.

I would like to make it clear that I do not advocate violence of any kind and only believe in peaceful protests.

I do not believe in organised religion, or segregation by idealism.

I believe it is possible to live in peace, yet still maintain individuality and different opinions.

I believe that no amount of money or ‘asset’ is more important than life.

I believe that if we could just take some inspiration from all of the above amalgamated, the world would be a better place.

This post’s quote:

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn

Pema Chödrön

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