Every person looks up to a model personality. For some, it could be a fictitious hero like Superman, Spiderman, or Wonder Woman. For others, it could be a successful businessman like Bill Gates or the very young Google creators Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Still, others look up to great leaders like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. These people with superior personality serve as our role models for they have set the standards for success and self-fulfillment.
However, being successful is not just measured by the positions we hold in the government, or the amount of money we make annually. Superiority and success are likewise found in the ability to help others live decently, and empower them to realize their goals. While others tread their ways to success in comfortable living, some choose the thorny path where the needy, the poor, and the helpless awaited resurrection. Among those who chose the second path was Jane Addams, the co-founder of the Hull House, and the first American woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
In this paper, we shall analyze the superiority in the personality of Jane Addams”her characteristics as a leader and the reasons why she stood above the rest”in relation to the theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, Gordon Allport, John Watson, and Otto Rank. Short Biography Jane Addams (1860-1935) was born in Cedarville, Illinois to a family of six children. Her mother died when she was two years old, leaving them with their father who was a local miller, political leader, and later a senator.
Her father served as a strong influence in Addams life until she grew up. After Addams attended Rockford Female Seminary where she graduated as valedictorian, she wanted to take up medicine but her father feared that this move will lead her not to marry and have her own family. Therefore, to dissuade her thoughts from attending school, he organized a family tour to Europe, thinking that this would make Addams change her mind. However, John Addams died of acute appendicitis while on vacation.
This affected the whole family, and in particular, Jane, who after the tour, enrolled in the medical school. She did not find the same vigor that she had before about medical school, and she was hospitalized often when they went back to the U. S. Finally, after her recovery from spine surgery, she was advised to return to Europe where she discovered what she was longing for. Seeing the Toynbee Hall in Londons slum area, Addams started heading towards the direction of fulfilling her life-long mission.
After her second visit to Europe, Addams got the inspiration to establish the Hull House in 1889. By 1893, the foundation already served 2,000 persons, offering intervention in the form of schooling, medical care, legal aid, childcare, and the arts. After founding the Hull House, she launched different projects to help the less fortunate and the weak, among them were Immigrants Protective League, and the Juvenile Protective Association, among others. Also in 1893, she served as the first woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections.
In 1894, she founded the Chicago Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers. Later, she also served as chairwoman of the Labor Committee of the General Federation of Womens Clubs, and took part in the executive board of the National Labor Commission. Just like anyone, Addams had critics who attacked her for her unyielding support of workers. As such, the Hull House suffered in terms of donations, forcing Addams to render lectures on tour, and write articles to support the foundation.
This eventually led to the publication of Twenty Years at Hull House, a book which received great public attention. Afterward, despite her criticized efforts to stop war or Americas participation to it, Hull House was still successful. In 1928, Addams suffered from heart attack, which marked the decline of her health. In 1931, she was hospitalized in Baltimore, the same day she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1931, she died of cancer in her own hometown.