You Don't Make History, It Makes You

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Yesterday, after a very tedious job, I was surfing through Netflix and came across a particular movie -- Enemies at the Gate. It is a 2001 movie and about the World War 2. I don't particularly like war movies and was more interested in looking for action movies like Fast and Furious, Bourne Series, Transporter and Transformer; ones I haven't watched. Then I placed my mouse pointer on the movie and saw something that changed my mind.

On Netflix, when you move the mouse over a movie listing, you see a short description of what the movie is about and the viewers rating of the movie. A good movie will have a rating of 3.5. An very good one will have a rating of 4. An exceptionally good movie will have a rating of 4.5 and above. Enemies at the Gate had 4.9 rating. That type of rating is very rare for movies on Netflix, it's series like Flash, Daredevil and Arrow that get those type of rating. So I decided to watch the movie.

It was a great movie and didn't take me long to see why it had that very high rating. And I got a bonus in the end. They displayed what happened to the main guy in the movie afterwards and that the movie is about real events. It wasn't a fiction. The hero of the movie, Vasily Zaytsev, was real and was as legendary as the movie portrayed him. He was Russian's legendary hero of the World War 2.


His story showed that it takes opportunities you can't control, skills you never knew would be extremely useful and interesting times (good or bad) to become a hero. In short, it takes numerous favourable circumstances to become a man of high significance. You can't plan your way to becoming a legend. You don't make history. Rather, history chooses its heroes. It is history that makes you.

If there was no World War 2, there wouldn't be a legendary Vasily Zaytsev. And it's like that through the course of history. Heroes are results of a combination of interesting times, interesting personality and luck. More accurately, its not luck but God. He directs history and picks its heroes. He has different roles for everyone and regardless of your personal/religious beliefs, he still ensures you stay within the bounds of his role allocation to you.

In the end, you become what he has fashioned you to be. All the difference is in how well you play your role. You don't make yourself. You don't make history. You are a role taker.


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