My SAT is in one week and I'm just flat out practicing right now. I wrote this essay 25 minutes, as allowed. Please grade and comment. I would really, really appreciate it!
Prompt: Are people held back by their adherence to the beliefs of the majority or doing things in the conventional way?
The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, "The minority is sometimes right; the majority is always wrong." This quote has certainly been proven true in many cases of politics and history. Adhering to the advice of the majority does prove costly as it can subdue the all-important opinionative drive of people.
In August 2010, the Australian Federal Election campaign began. On one side was a strong liberalist for workers' and women's rights, while on the other side was a conservative for family rights and the abolishment of abortion. At first, Tony Abbott, the conservative, came out firing with scathing remarks of the oppositions' policies. But as the majority of media influences began to criticise his passion, Abbott backed down from his beliefs and attempted to cater to the desires of the entire country. This populist approach lost him not only the election, but the trust of his supporters in his initial beliefs. When trying to please the majority, one ends up pleasing no one.
One leader who refused to be held back the overwhelming majority was King Leonidas of Sparta. When the Persians were approaching to claim all of Greece, Leonidas had to appear at the counsel of the Ephors to gain permission to lead a defensive attack. The Ephors, however, unanimously voted against his expedition because it was to be undertaken during a traditional religious festival. Enraged by this denial, but true to his own beliefs, Leonidas led his personal bodyguard, only 300 men, against the million-strong Persian rabble. They fought and died, but their stand inspired the whole of Greece to rise up and save their nation. Without Leonidas' disobedience to the majority, Greece would not have been the cradle of Western civilisation, but merely an enslaved state of a tyrant.
Examples both from current politics and ancient events prove that the majority, when adhered to, can restrain the success of the minority; but when denied this influence, the majority can be proven wrong. The majority is like a raging river, but the minority, the subtle beaver dam, can defeat its overwhelming force.
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