This week the movie Darkest Hour will be released. It tells the tale of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in World War II having to decide whether to make peace with Hitler or fight on. So much of Europe had already fallen to the Nazis and Britain almost lost everything at Dunkirk when regular folks in personal boats had to help bring the British soldiers home to fight against the German attack.
The pressure on Winston Churchill must have been excruciating. Behind closed doors he was scared and anxious and depressed. But when he stepped out in front of the people he radiated confidence and positivity and hope. He set the tone. He gave those watching the energy they needed to fight on.
I have always loved a good speech. And Churchill gave some epic ones. He said things like…
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
“Never, never, never give up.”
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope.”
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Where would we be today if Churchill had bowed to Hitler? What would the world be like? It is because of leaders like Churchill that we are living our lives in freedom. And we all have the ability to emulate him and show that positive front when inside we are completely unsure. To soldier on and fight the good fight. In the holiday season and always may we have the strength to put one foot in front of the other and never, never, never give up.