If I could meet a famous person from the past then I would meet Friedrich Nietzsche. He was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism. His work has helped inspiring Nazism and Fascism.
Born on October 15, 1844, Nietzsche grew up in the small town of Rochen, Germany. Nietzsche also had one brother and one sister. In 1850 he moved to Naumburg and attended a boys' school. Then later he moved to a private school. After graduation in 1864 Nietzsche commenced studies in theology and classical philology at the University of Bonn. Later in life Nietzsche started showing interest in philosophy, European Materialism, Europe's increased concern with science, Darwin's theory, and the general rebellion against tradition and authority. In the year 1869 Nietzsche received a remarkable offer to become professor of classical philology at the University of Basel. He was only 24 years old and had an incomplete doctorate, and he never got his teaching certificate. He however still accepted the job and to this day he is one of the youngest professors on record.
The reason why I would like to meet him would be because I have read some of his thoughts and views on life and they have moved me in a way in which words cannot describe. The quote that was specifically impacting was “Battle not with monsters lest you become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you." The meaning of this quote is that a person should not become what he is fighting. It has showed me that very often people do become what they fight, and then that makes them no better that what they have been fighting.
Also there is another quote “Man is the cruelest animal”. It may sound preposterous and insane, but it is the truth! Only a man is cruel enough to torture people, only a man is cruel enough to kill his own brother, and only a man is capable to laugh at other people’s pain. A lot can be debated here but he was right. For it is the cruelty of people that leads to fights, wars and deaths. Yes there are people in the world that may “never harm a fly” but if you put the most peaceful person into a harsh environment he will start to show the monster within him. No matter if a person is quiet, loud, big or small there will always be the cruel side within.
Yes Nazism and Fascism were based on Nietzsche’s philosophy, but that doesn’t mean that he was a Fascist. Many great people have read Nietzsche’s work such as Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. So even though some of Nietzsche’s ideas might have been a little over the top this still would not stop me from having a good cup of coffee and to talk about what influenced him into thinking that way.