“When someone achieves greatness in any field — such as the arts, science, politics, or business — that person’s achievements are more important than any of his or her personal faults.”


  1,Every one has faults. We can not ignore one's achievement only because he or she has made some faults. Likewise, we can not neglect one's error when he or she achieves greatness in the field.

  2,When it comes to which one is more important, the greatness or the faults, the final judgement should be based on the situation of the certain person. In fact, as far as I am concerned, it makes no sense to make such a judgement.

  3,We should give a person fair and reasonable evalluation. It is imprudent轻率的 to say that the greatness one achieves in one field is necessarily more important than the faults he or she makes.

  衡量人们的成就与错误的重要性,本身一直是一个controversial topic。

  1,The proponents of this view may argue that 人们不能因为过错而忽视成就。在很多情况下,compared with the huge achievements, those great people’s faults appear so unimportant as to be forget. 比如,Yet even a cursory review of the private lives of past Presidents reveals substantial evidence that Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy had extramarital affairs. Thomas Jefferson, many believe, fathered children by one of his slaves. And Grover Cleveland confessed to having an illegitimate child.但与他们的政治成就相比,比如Roosevelt boosted the American economy and cease the recession…人们往往选择neglect such faults.

  2,以上的观点,不代表说,我们可以因为一个人的成就,而忽视他的重大过错。比如Mao, who released Chinese from the aggression of other nations, and also, who started the “Great culture revolution” in China which brought huge disaster to hundreds and thousands of innocent people. Poet named “Haizi” who is highly achieved in arts and literature, murdered his wife and then committed suicide. It is unfair to take it for granted that any achievement in any field is more important than life.

  3,所以,在很多情况下,成就与过错的重要性随情况变化而变化,没有一个perpetual right answer to this question. 我认为就这个问题本身的讨论并没有意义,评价一个人的时候,应该collectively and objectively evaluate a person by considering both the faults and the achievements rather than by claiming one of the two is more important than the other.

  Optional words:

  Greatness/extraordinary/ outstanding/ supreme

  Success/ achievement/ accomplishment/ attainment

  Thesis sentence: in most cases, a great achievement that one gains in certain field is more notable than the faults he has ever made. However, that does necessarily mean that the former is more important than the later. Moreover, it is severely biased to praise people’s achievements without even a glance on their faults.

  View1: Is almost undoubted that we can not eliminate people’s achievements just because they have made some faults. Likewise, we can not neglect people’s faults when they achieve greatness in certain fields.


  View2: An appropriate judgment towards a person should be based on thorough analysis covering both his achievements and faults. It is arbitrary to say whether great achievements are more important than faults unless the all-round situation of a certain person is presented.


  Perhaps in some instances the personal failings of great achievers are unimportant relative to the achievements. In many cases, however, the relative significance of personal failings can be very great, depending on two factors: (1) the extent to which the failing is part of the achievement process itself, and (2) the societal impact of the achiever’s failing apart from his or her own success.

  Personal failings and achievement are often symbiotically related. The former test the would-be achiever’s mettle; they pose challenges—necessary resistance that drives one to achieve despite the shortcoming. Personal failings may also compel one to focus on one’s strengths, thereby spawning achievement. For example, poor academic or job performance may propel a gifted entrepreneur to start his or her own business. In the arts, a personal failing may be a necessary ingredient or integral part of the process of achieving. Artists and musicians often produce their most creative works during periods of depression, addiction, or other distress. In business, insensitivity to the “human” costs of success has bred grand achievements, as with the questionable labor practices of the great philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

  A second type of personal failing is one that is unrelated to the achievement. Modern politics is replete with examples: the marital indiscretions of the great leader John F. Kennedy and the paranoia of the great statesman Richard Nixon, to name just two. Were the personal failings of these two presidents less “important” than their achievements? In the former example, probably so. In the latter example, probably not since it resulted in the Watergate scandal—a watershed event in American politics. In cases such as these, therefore, the societal impact of shortcoming and achievement must be weighed on a case-by-case basis.

  In sum, history informs us that personal failings are often part-and-parcel of great achievements; even where they are not, personal shortcomings of great achievers often make an important societal impact of their own.