At the moment there is a programme on television (BBC2) about Icons. Each week there are four 'contenders' for the top spot in each category and the final week will pit these ' winners' against one another to find the 'top' 'most important' icon of the twentieth century - the person who has had the most profound and lasting effect on the world.
The programmes in themselves are interesting. This week the legacies and achievements of Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr, and Emmeline Pankhurst were assessed.
Which of them had had the most lasting effect upon the world? How on earth is it possible to say? Each one of them was a huge influence
upon how people viewed events and how people viewed the 'underdogs' of this world - the people of India under the oppression of the British, people with disabilities and their place in society, black people and their role in society and the rights of women.
Each section of the programme showed the good points in the campaigns - and the flaws - and each programme showed how far we have come in each area under the microscope. But why try the impossible task of saying which one is most important. Every generation has its icons - they are inspirational - let's just celebrate them all and be thankful for them all. Let's also see the flaws in the ways the approached things. But for goodness sake don't let's try to choose the 'best'.