It could take a person’s whole life to learn to be tolerant, but only those who possess this characteristic could truly achieve great success, take the designer of the Eiffel tower for example.
The design of the Eiffel Tower was first submitted by engineer Gustave Eiffel to a competition organized by the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. In the beginning, the construction of the tower faced fierce opposition from the public. It was deemed a ridiculous eyesore that would disfigure the beauty of their splendid Paris.
A group of architects and scholars even voiced their objection in a common letter. The structure was, in their opinion, ‘useless’ and ‘bizarre’.
The strongest opposing voice came from the famous author, Guy de Maupassant. So much so, that once it was built, his statement that ‘he would usually go up the tower to have lunch’ left people astonished. But when asked to explain his reason, Maupassant replied, “It would be the best way to avoid seeing the eyesore, the tower.”
Despite all of the criticisms, the tower was constructed, opened to the public and named after Gustave Eiffel himself. Right from the start, the Eiffel tower drew a large number of visitors. In 1889 alone, the Eiffel tower received nearly 2 million visitors, setting the world record at the time. The Eiffel tower has become internationally admired, an undisputed icon of Paris. And it has continued to hold the world record for the number of visitors to any landmark, the world over, as well as being of giant economic benefit to France.
The Eiffel tower has become a symbol of pride to all of France. It has also served as inspiration for fine works of art, literature, and cinema. Later, the Eiffel tower has been recognized by the academic elite. Thomas Edison, for example, the famous inventor, referred to Gustave Eiffel as, ‘Sir Eiffel, the brave engineer’.
Engineer Gustave Eiffel and his supporters overcame all of the controversies to support and build one of the greatest architectural achievements known to man, to only later be truly recognized. If back then, Gustave Eiffel wavered and was defeated by his critics, Paris would be without its most treasured symbol of elegance and pride and the world without the refined engineering of the tower itself.
From the distant past to the present day, only those able to endure their criticism could achieve true greatness. The mightier the ambition the greater the opposition, but it is through stoic tolerance and self belief that great deeds are done.
The taller the tree grows, the stronger the wind that whips it.
If one’s heart is easily moved, how could it forbear? If one could not forbear or tolerate hardship, how could they grow to achieve true and everlasting greatness?