Have you ever heard of a man named Armstrong? No, not the astronaut, the cyclist, Lance Armstrong, who won seven straight Tour de France competitions. These titles were later revoked due to him being charged with using performance enhancing drugs. Armstrong was the most decorated cyclist in history and arguably one of the greatest athletes of recent times. I say ‘was’ because in light of recent events he is rarely given respect. Armstrong used a generous amount of his winnings and fame to found and run his own charity, the Livestrong Foundation. This charity in the years following its creation, managed to greatly further cancer research and raise awareness. Armstrong’s accomplishments through the use of performance enhancing drugs, in a sense, led to substantial cancer research and the saving of lives. There is an argument whether Armstrong’s use of illicit substances is justified through the works of his charity. This idea would be supported by the philosophies of Niccolò Machiavelli as shown by his writings in The Prince. Continue reading
What does it truly mean to be fortunate? Many times, we hear people talking about how others are so ‘fortunate’ but what do they truly mean when they say this and why do some people appear to be more fortunate than others?
In Machiavelli’s The Prince he goes into great depth about the meaning and definition of fortune. He says that fortune consists of the events that are completely out of one’s control. People always want to be able to control their actions and have will to make choices, but in reality things don’t always happen the way that we might want them to. This element of the unknown is part of what makes life interesting and part of the wonder of what fortune is. Depending on the situation, fortune can bring on either good or bad events, which makes people want to be in control of their fortune so that they can increase the occurrence of good events, and avoid the bad ones. Machiavelli claims that the only way to deal with fortune is to take bold and courageous action. By sitting back and letting things just simply happen, people lose a bit of control over their lives. Therefore, taking a stand and stepping out of the box allows for people to control their own fortune. Continue reading