On this day in history, January 24, 1965, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader with the looks and the tenacity of a bulldog, passed away at age ninety. From his early days as a soldier through his career in Parliament and as Prime Minister, his policy was to never surrender.
I had always heard that, in his famous speech to Harrow School, Churchill stood before the students and said, "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give in. Never give in. Never give in. Never give in," and then sat down. The actual speech he made was much longer, though it did contain very similar words, and its theme was mostly on persevering in tough times. The British certainly had them during World War II.
I'm inspired by these words:
. . . appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must "...meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same."
You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination.
We writers are creatures of imagination. For us, especially when our imaginations make things out far worse than they are, when we feel we will never sell another book or interest another agent or win another contest or write another worthy word, we must hold on and do those things God has called us to.
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Well said, Mr. Churchill!
You can read and hear the entire speech HERE.
Lady Nancy Astor: Winston, if you were my husband, I'd poison your tea.
Churchill: Nancy, if I were your husband, I'd drink it.
Is there something you're working on now that you're tempted to quit on?
How do you know the difference between giving up and being called to something different?