The greatness of individuals can be decided only by those who live after them, not by their contemporaries...
The author states that contemporaries are not able to understand the importance and greatness of individuals who live with them and it will found only by future people. I partly agree with this assertion that by time passing many ambiguities may become obvious, but in some cases, many great men have been acclaimed, when they were alive. I believe that this assertion highly depends on the social condition and religious beliefs that people have at that time, as well as subject area of the issue. There are some examples to support my preference, which are discussed below.
In many respects, people strongly believed to their religions. Religious fanaticism made them accept many superstitions as facts. Even being curious about these so-called facts was an illegitimate action. For instant, Galileo, a famous astronomer, lived in such situation that every questionable issue was answered by religious leaders. At that time people believed that the Earth is center of the world and every planets and stars, even the Sun, rotates around it and this assertion was written in religious books. During that particular time, Galileo devoted himself to studying about planets movement. After a great deal of attempts, he discovered a shocking fact. He stated that not only the Earth is not the center of the world, but also it rotates around the Sun. He actually deserved great acclaims, but unfortunately he called as a criminal person, who tried to ignore religious beliefs. Due to his claim, he was condemned to spend the rest of his life in prison.
On the other hand, nowadays, Bill Gates is well-known as one of the most successful and richest men in the world. He immersed himself in computer programming and his efforts became a turning point in computer science. Every one of us is taking advantages of his inventions during working with computers. Microsoft is the most popular computer-based corporation, which its chairman cannot be anyone but Gates. Moreover, he has been acclaimed in any ceremonies and people like to buy his trustworthy software.
Now some questions may arise in one's mind after reading the claim that no great man is highly praised by contemporaries. By having a more precise look at the reasons, we will find that being acclaimed is highly depends on the need of people on the time. Nowadays, improving at the dissemination of information and computer software is one of the most necessities that Gates put all his energy on it. On the other hand, the movement of earth did not only change the people lives but also would destroyed their religious beliefs. From other point of view, the authorities play an important roles to makes someone be famous or not. If one's theory would not be harmful, they may let it publish. Some assertions are like a threat for the authorities, which most of them are related to political or religious matters. Therefore, the field which great men work at, can cause them to improve or not. Artists, scientists and athletes who their improvements have no conflict with the bases on social beliefs and the authorities power have more chance to be acclaimed by their contemporaries.