As I sat watching the Darkest Hour in a theatre on Winston Churchill Boulevard, it was not lost on me. The larger than life British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, played brilliantly by Gary Oldman, was portrayed as the human that he was. Which made the story all the more touching.
The day he was asked to be Prime Minister, which was a lifelong dream, was the day that Germany had invaded France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Nazis were closing in and Europe was falling. It was against this backdrop that Churchill was asked to lead.
For all his quotes and epic speeches, he was, like all of us, flawed and full of self-doubt. But he understood the value in believing in yourself and your principles beyond reason. He had failed many times in politics before he became Britain’s leader. But as he said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
As I drove out of the theatre on to the street bearing his name, it hit me like a tonne of bricks. He was a regular guy like you and me. He wasn’t sure. He just never gave up.
When over 300,000 Allied soliders were cornered at Dunkirk, Churchill asked for British laypeople to sail their personal boats to save the troops. And they did.
Because of his leadership, we live in freedom today. And he was as imperfect as the rest of us.
Although we may not be global leaders in times of crisis, we will all face our own personal darkest hours. And we can be inspired by Churchill to forge on, do the right thing, fight for those who need our help, and never, ever, ever give up.