Originally created 04/02/04

Toughness, self-esteem build greatness

I'm extremely impressed with four Americans, whom I consider to be exceptional individuals for all of the right reasons. Of course, these individuals are loved by some and hated by others.

Madonna is the chic material girl who is a world-renowned celebrity. I don't agree with all of her show-biz antics, but I respect and admire her for defining and validating herself, and not letting others do this for her. She's cool, savvy, surreal, tenacious and a brilliant lady.

The late Malcolm X didn't run away from controversy or adversity. He rightfully spoke out against racism encountered by his people, who were considered to be second-class citizens. He wasn't intimidated or afraid of America's elitist power structure, whereby he had to resort to being a submissive, subservient and docile Negro clown. Malcolm was a real man and a class act.

I've always admired and respected former President Clinton, in spite of the hostile critcism and severe public scrutiny he received because of the White House sex scandal. He positively and effectively continued to perform his presidential duties and functions. He succeeded against all odds. I consider Mr. Clinton to be pressure-proof. He truly believes in himself and this is all good.

Muhammad Ali is an exceptional and extraordinary individual. When he speaks, the world listens. Without such positive confidence in himself, he wouldn't be considered today's most popular person on planet earth.

All four of the world icons that I have profiled have two commonalties. They have exceptional levels of high self-esteem and mental toughness. It's amazing how these attributes can elevate people to greatness. It's a blessing that these positive attributes can be acquired free of charge.

E. Maner, Augusta

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