History is conventionally seen as the record of the deeds of great and influential people. They might be the triggers but they didn't make history.
This article is an extension of the sentiment outlined in the Black Hebrew Israelites & the Origins of Afrocentrism YouTube video presented by BadEmpanada, which posits that black people in the US do not have to look to fake narratives based around putting black people as the heroes of supposedly white history, but that black people themselves were the key instigators of their own path to liberation. He further posits that it is because history is often viewed from the deeds of key people – mostly white – who triggered key events, and that devalues the effects of others at the time.
In a way, extending our view of history to include such seemingly lesser players still devalues the masses that actually drove change, though BadEmpanada hints at that. While some key people might have been the triggers of much of history, without the support of the millions who responded with actions, their efforts would be for nought. We don't tend to remember the efforts that fizzled out due to lack of support.
An idea has to proceed a successful action, but unless that idea reaches the masses and appeals to them enough for them to take the collective action needed to manifest that idea, nothing much happens, at least in the short term. In general, the more significant the change represented by the idea, the longer it takes to reach the critical mass of belief in it to make it happen. That is because there is much mental and emotional inertia to overcome the natural resistance that people have to wanting to change.
This is why that even if rulers have been deposed by others who wanted a better society, unless there is broad willingness to make sea changes by people at all levels of society, the society will revert to familiar, if dysfunctional, habits of thought and actions. While ideas have to proceed through, and be accepted at, our different levels of consciousness in each of us, lasting societal changes are the result of that process being replicated through almost all people in all levels of that society.
The focus upon key people in history as if everyone else was insignificant has been the enabler of the current trend for dark triad billionaires and CEOs to claim they are our modern-day heroes and pioneers, and the millions fed on the conventional history diet willingly accept that premise and bathe them in adulation. Fortunately, as a result of black lives protests, we are examining the real lives of our past so-called heroes and seeing that they were such despicable people that we are pulling down the many statues and monuments to their relentless self-promotion.
This naturally leads us to see the same flaws in these modern imitators so that we have the opportunity to counter our tendency to put them on pedestals, especially when our modern communications allows us to see how despicable they are before they get a chance to embed themselves in history as heroes. We are beginning to appreciate how it is the masses of people that work for them that are the true people of action. Covid showed us that it was those who seemed so lowly who were the true bedrock that enabled our societies to endure.
While Zelensky was the face of a nation, it was the obvious willingness of the majority of Ukrainians to fight off their invaders that gave reason for the need for NATO and other countries to support them. Up until that will of the people was seen in the early days of the war, there was little willingness to help. Nations are the product of the mass beliefs of their citizens, upon which they thrive or decline.
However, if we are to survive as a species, we must believe in the planet more than any nation, as well as dispense with believing in so-called heroes, as we need to believe in ourselves more as the makers of our own lives and the saviours of our societies and the planet. Let us make a future that is not seen as being an anonymous landscape dotted with egotistically-bloated narcissists, but a mass of individuals who collectively saved the planet from their own follies.
Unfortunately, by this overemphasis on being important and making a mark in history, we have become obsessed by it, or too willingly place too much importance in others. This creates a stress that debilitates most by creating a false stress to perform, and prompts others to promote grand schemes that hijack the lives of many others and consume far too many resources. All these false endeavors distract us from seeing ourselves as we truly are and thus be and do what we are truly capable of.
Living a balanced life leads to a lasting fulfilment that is far more important than what people in an unknown future may think of us. Living such a life will have a far greater influence on those around us than any delusional dreams of being a hero. Being a centre of peace gives others a reason to abandon their delusions because it promises something achievable now rather than a promise of glory after a life of toil. A network of peace can transform humanity as it expands as more come on board. We don't have to set out to create change, but it will be infectious.