Throughout history, some individuals have sojourned on and transformed the world for the sake of humankind. The world was confronted by various challenges that threatened to engrave it. It is through the actions of charismatic, intellectually talented, devoted, and unfathomable leaders, such as Lech Walesa, who had the interests of the society that the society changed to the better state that humanity currently enjoys. Lech Walesa is one of the outstanding individuals whose efforts magnificently led to the suppression of the tyrannical communist policy.
Through an interview, the trade unionist, human right activist, and philanthropist Lech discloses that he was born from a working class in Popowo in September 1943. He enrolled for school, exhibited an exemplary performance before his parents were unable to meet the educational expenses, and was forced to join a vocational school at 16. Outrageously, Lech reveals that he had to walk for several kilometers to attend school (Stachura, 1999). All along, his parents had no hope in him and deeply wondered what he would grow up to be considering the devastating poverty that engraved Poland in the postwar period. He shows that life became too challenging when his father died after returning from war and his father’s brother had to take care of a substantially less-abled household with no anticipations.
Lech said that he began to speak to the public “ever since (he) can remember” because he saw things in a different way. He believed that simple rules and principle, based on his experience, were violated in the communist school. As a result, he was involved in many troubles, in school. For example, at the age of around ten, he was in conflict with the priest, and he strongly and persistently believed that he was right.
At the age of 27 years Lech accidently found himself in Gdansk after the train, he was travelling in left him when he was quenching his thirst. Being in a new big city with people from different lifestyles gave Lech a new life, where the people, compared to his hometown, did not recognize him. Therefore, he decided that he had to do something that must make him different and recognized by the people in the shipyard (Walesa, 1987). He, therefore, utilized the education, experience and straightforward to achieve his objective. Consequently, he decided to be a voice for the voiceless. Although he faced a strong opposition from the powerful people and hierarchy, because he criticized them, he got some stimulus and support from the people at the low levels, who were the majority. He was leading the protests against the practice where the working conditions, salaries and achievements of their system were compared to other systems. As a result, they were exposed to poor living and working conditions.
However, according to Lech, their struggle for better working conditions and solidarity of workers was challenged by various conditions. First, the protestors were afraid because “when it comes to struggle, almost everybody is nervous and afraid in every struggle all over the world” (Walesa, 1987). Second, they faced challenges from the strong Political Police who at some time arrested some workers and even beating them. As a result, majority of the workers were not courageous enough to face those challenges. Lech said that he was among the people who were strengthened by difficulties and hardships, and this made him more involved in the worker’s solidarity with determination. In 1970, Lech led the first strike but it failed. Subsequently, he spent 10 years of his life trying to determine several factors that led to the defeat of the first struggle. Therefore, he was to determine the effective strategies that would give them victory without tragedy of bloodshed, damaging their food stock, and being able to negotiate effectively. In 1980, though he was not ready, he had ideas of leading an effective strike, in which they won. He believed that this was his first step of bringing down the communist system.
Lech state that the church played an imperative role in his life. Living between two powerful nations, Germany and Russia, faith in God was an inexorable aspect as the future of the strained relationships between the two superpowers was unpredictable. Moreover, Lech pinpoints that they lived through despairing situations with the forces of communism threatening their existence. He uncovers that it is almost impossible to build anything if resentment, frustration, and a disposition of desperateness are what prevails in an individual. His catholic faith, he notes, sustained his determination and political career. Through the church, Lech leant the evilness of communism rule and started planning on how to vanquish it. As he planned for mass action against communism, he states, his courage was overwhelming and was ready to face any counteraction from the champions of the despotic dogma that was taking unjustifiable advantage of innocent, hopeless civilians and heightening social injustices. However, Lech states that, “it was a mission to be accomplished despite the challenges and oppositions” (Stachura, 1999).
Lech portrays his jubilation after the fall of communism and the berlin wall. The accomplishment that earned him awards. He confesses that his political career was at its best in 1990 when he was elected the president of Poland, knowing that humanity was then dignified. He asserts that his actions, determinations, and human nature contributed greatly to the transformation of Poland and the global society.
Stachura, P. (1999). Poland in the Twentieth Century. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Wałęsa, L. (1987). A way of hope. New York: H. Holt.