Who Are My Role Models From History?

The persons from history that have been great inspirational to me

By Armando F. Sanchez, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: June 28, 2013

Who Are My Role Models From History?

I was recent asked by a listener on my global podcast show to highlight who was my role model from historical times. I was asked to think of someone outside of my family members - I have a lot of old "historic" folks in my family!

My immediate response was to highlight one of my role models and that is the Roman gladiator Spartacus. A Thracian born in 109 BC. He was a Roman mercenary who was made into a slave and then sent to be a gladiator. So why Spartacus as a role model?

Well, he started a rebellion against the leaders and military legions of Rome. At that time, Rome was the most powerful nation in Europe and North Africa. One man, one person leads and begins a major chapter in Roman history. He recruited other slaves and led them to also rebel and actually threatened the Roman capital itself. Eventually his rebellion was crushed and all were put to death.

Now what makes Spartacus so special and to be regarded over so many other figures in history?

One person alone made a decision that he will no longer live passively under Roman rule. He is in chains and in dungeons. He lives in barracks with wild animals. He owns absolutely nothing. In some ways, even his life, because he was a slave, was not legally his own. Yet, he decided to take on Rome.

Somehow he recruited other slaves to help him. Keep in mind that slaves and gladiators were captives brought from many lands and used many languages. How did they communicate and agree to help and fight? So many differences in culture, languages, religions and abilities and most likely practically none of them could read and write. Here we have a group developing and growing and strategizing to take on the mighty Roman legions. They fought for almost two years.

Spartacus had no education, no possessions, no equipment, no military leadership experience and yet he took on the mighty military force of the Roman empire. To unify thousands and fight as an organized group for two years was a phenomenal feat. This is not a story of David against Goliath. It's a story of an ant versus an elephant. An ant holding a long needle can do some harm.

What I learned from this historical person is that anyone can be a leader. Given the right conditions, circumstances and motivation practically anyone, I emphasize the term ANYONE can rise and begin a movement. Some use weapons and others use their voice, their pens, their Art, and their talents to awaken and move others to join, grow and move in unison for a cause.

{b]The story of Spartacus helps me to remembering the "Tank Man."[/b} Remember the historic photo of June 5, 1989 of the man, who by himself, stands in front and stops a column of tanks in Tiananman Square, China. To date, his name has not been published and still referred to as the Tank Man.

I want to mention someone who must be part of our historic books. I highlight Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan who was confronted by the Taliban for wanting to attend school. She was shot in 2012 in the head and neck but she survived. She fights on for the rights of young girls to get an education. She was the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in history. Malala was highlighted in 2013 by Time Magazine as one of 100 most influential people in the world. She is 16 years old.

Spartacus, the man in China and Malala are great inspirations for me. They motivate me. I assess and realize that I have so much; years of education, a profession, international networks, global technology at my fingertips, pens and pencils, paper, friends and most importantly, thoughts (thanks Lewis Black for that one!).

I must continuously ask myself; what did I do this morning to make this a better world?

About Armando F. Sanchez, Contributing Writer:
Armando F. Sanchez is a global New Digital Media executive producer
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