by Katherine Leicester 7/3/14
“Out of depths of sorrow and sacrifice will be born again the glory of mankind.” – Winston Churchill, June 12, 1941 • America is “the Kardashian nation” says Chris Widener, unable to focus on anything but the shiny and the trivial. Our elected representatives seem to share our values until it comes time to stand up and argue for them, at which time they collapse like a house of cards in a puff of wind. Leaders of capitalist organizations increasingly contort the capitalist model until they become the enemy of their employees and the contempt of the general public. What is happening to us, and how can we stop the decline? The answer is twofold: we don’t know what we believe in, and if we do, we don’t have the courage to defend it.
Abraham Lincoln understood that America would never be conquered by any foreign enemy. Instead, he believed she would only fall to the cancer of self-destruction. The courage necessary for this kind of battle is difficult because we’re fighting against ideas and beliefs our friends and neighbors hold dear. The fact remains that we must find the courage to fight the battle against our own self-destruction. But how?
Do what courageous souls who have gone before us have done. Declare what you believe, and then fight for it.
Winston Churchill not only maintained his own courage of thought and action, his words and actions inspired a nation and a world to fight against the seemingly insurmountable evil that threatened to overwhelm the world. Churchill declared the cause just, and he called us all to be worthy of ourselves. He called us to remember what we stood for, and to fight for the liberty and freedom of our families, and for those who suffered and would suffer under the tyranny of the enemy. He did so under incredibly difficult conditions.
In May 1940 Britain lost virtually all her war-fighting materiel and many of her men at Dunkirk. From September 1940 to May of 1941 Hitler’s Luftwaffe bombed London for 57 consecutive days then all of Britain for the rest. In response, on June 12, 1941 Churchill met with the ministers and representatives of the various nations at war with Hitler, and called them to be courageous. How did he do this?
First he reminded them of their purpose:
“we meet here … in order to proclaim the high purposes and resolves of the lawful constitutional Governments of Europe whose countries have been overrun; and we meet here also to cheer the hopes of free men and free peoples throughout the world.”
Churchill understood that courage is the only way to spread hope when it seems sheer folly to fight against such monstrous odds. Courage shines brightest when it stands stalwart in the face of adversity.
Churchill then declared their collective resolve to fight for their cause:
“They (the accredited representatives of the British Dominions beyond the seas, of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, of the Empire of India, of Burma, and of our Colonies in every quarter of the globe) have drawn their swords in this cause. They will never let them fall till life is gone or victory is won.”
Courage calls us to fight for what we believe is right and true. Courage calls us to make no compromise with what we believe—it’s either worth fighting for to the death, or not at all.
Churchill understood that courage is built on the hard rubble of truth: the enemy was formidable, and cruel in ways never before seen, and the battle to defeat that enemy would be hard. He said:
“We cannot tell what the course of this fell war will be as it spreads remorseless through ever-wider regions. We know it will be hard, we expect it will be long; we cannot predict or measure its episodes or its tribulations.
In the face of the terror of the unknown, he again declared their resolve to fight, and win:
“We cannot yet see how deliverance will come, or when it will come, but nothing is more certain than that every trace of Hitler’s footsteps, every stain of his infected and corroding fingers will be sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted from the surface of the earth.”
Churchill’s message was we will fight, and we will win, because we must. He understood the great responsibility we’ve been given as citizens of the English-speaking world to engage the enemies of freedom, whether external or internal, and to defeat them.
Over and over again, to the men at the conference and the listening world, Churchill restated their resolve and their courage:
“We are here to affirm and fortify our union in that ceaseless and unwearying effort which must be made if the captive peoples are to be set free.
“We shall aid and stir the people of every conquered country to resistance and revolt. We shall break up and derange every effort which Hitler makes to systematize and consolidate his subjugation. He will find no peace, no rest, no halting-place, no parley.”
He called them to remember their responsibility, to do their duty, and finally:
“This, then, is the message which we send forth today to all the States and nations, bond or free, to all the men in all the lands who care for freedom’s cause, to our allies and well-wishers in Europe, to our American friends and helpers drawing ever closer in their might across the ocean: this is the message. Lift up your hearts. All will come right. Out of the depths of sorrow and sacrifice will be born again the glory of mankind.”
To win the battle for our nation and the hearts of her people, we must recapture our courage by doing these things:
- We must understand our purpose—we have to know what we believe and why we believe it. To be unclear is to be fearful and willing to compromise.
- We must be clear about our enemy and declare our resolve to fight and win against it. The enemy is tyranny, and our addiction to our own comfort that says the fight is too hard.
- We must declare our resolve again, and again, and fortify this resolve with the knowledge that great men and women have come before us who have faced sterner tasks than those we have been given; they emerged triumphant, and so will we. Courage and resolve to win must be watered every day with the memory of the victories of our forbears.
- We must be courageous in the endeavors to which we have been called—to remain silent is to fail.
- We must create hope in ourselves and share that hope with others. To believe in a world of possibility and abundance, where we take a slice of pie and the pie is whole again, is our certain belief and hope.
If we do these things, and we do them diligently, we will win this awful battle to restore the heart of our nation, and pull the hearts of her marvelous people from the depths of cynicism and despair. And then, “out of the depths of sorrow and sacrifice will [truly] be born again the glory of mankind.” • (1141 views)