Meeting Robert Greene and Ryan Holiday
Understanding Your Own Place in History
–Written by DeAngelo S. Webster
Ever since I was a teenager in high school, Robert Greene has been my undisputed favorite author. The stories he weaves, deeply entrenched in the tapestry of history, have shaped my worldview in profound ways and invoked an interest in me of history, human psychology, and self-mastery. Last weekend, I got the opportunity to meet him and fellow author, Ryan Holiday/stoicism expert, after a seminar they jointly presented.
Both authors share a profound respect for the past, understanding its power to illuminate our present. Greene’s works – The 48 Laws of Power, Mastery, and The 33 Strategies of War – are more than just manuals for strategic thinking. They are compendiums of history’s greatest tales and the lessons we ought to derive from them.
I had a VIP ticket and was able to meet and spend some time with Robert after the presentation. Originally, I planned to ask him to autograph a book, but realized that would be but a fleeting reminder of the night. I took a different route. Robert had given me enough over the years already. I did not need to ask him for anything more. As a token of my appreciation I instead chose to write heartfelt thank you letter to Robert for the impact his books have had on individuals such as myself. I thanked him for sharing his mind with the world.
The Use of Historical Icons
The reasons for my admiration are manifold. But one aspect that always struck a chord is Greene’s use of historical figures as case studies. Every law, every strategy he elucidates is backed by a tale from the bygone era. These aren’t just footnotes but carefully chosen exemplifications, reminding us of the evergreen nature of human behavior and ambition.
To the casual reader, it may seem that the sheer volume of historical examples Greene employs is overwhelming. However, there lies its beauty and its most profound lesson. Each story, each vignette, from the grand to the obscure, underscores a singular truth: Every individual, irrespective of time and context, has the potential to etch their name in the records of history.
There’s an inherent comfort and inspiration in that realization. The countless tales of historical figures that changed the world serve as a powerful reminder. Whether you’re an artist, an entrepreneur, a soldier, or a teacher, there’s room for your story, your legacy within the vast, intricate tapestry of history.
Meeting Robert Greene and Ryan Holiday was not just a fan’s dream come true. It was a poignant reminder of the value of history and the power of individual narratives. In their writings, both authors reiterate that history is not just about kings, queens, and monumental events. It’s about everyday people making choices, taking risks, and pushing boundaries.
We all have the potential to leave a lasting imprint. The canvas of history is vast, and there’s space for every one of us.
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