Nerves of Steel
Andrew Carnegie is hailed as a man who has done many great services to this nation. While this belief is true and his efforts are numerously noted, Andrew Carnegie remains a man just like the rest of us. He has had his struggles and he has had his triumphs. Like most of us, he came from humble beginnings, and like all of us at some point in our lineage, walked through the doors of Ellis Island and stepped foot on American soil to realize a dream: a dream of a better life, a dream of success, and a dream of endless possibilities. Andrew Carnegie and his family had just become part of the glorious melting pot that we call the United States - a land where hard-working men and women can realize their full potential and achieve greatness (much like Carnegie was destined to do). During his lifetime, Andrew Carnegie would aid in the construction of the railroads (thus enabling transcontinental transit, which would play a vital role in not only the economy, but the civil war as well), become as steel tycoon, perform numerous charitable acts, and emerge at the epicenter of two scandals.
Even as a child, Andrew Carnegie knew that he had to work hard to make his dreams a reality. Carnegie, fresh off the boat, took a job at a cotton factory with his father and earned $1.20 a week (PBS Carnegie). Carnegie excelled at his tasks and displayed an unquenchable desire for knowledge (after all, America was no place for mediocrity). A small library became available for working boys; a library at which Carnegie absorbed as much knowledge as he possibly could (PBS Carnegie). As Carnegie’s understanding and worldview began to grow, so did his competency at work. Carnegie soon left the factory to become a telegraph deliverer, but his ambition for greatness didn’t stop there. Carnegie took pride in his work and memorized the names and locations of important customers (PBS Carnegie). His knowledge impressed one man so much that he...