Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dig in Your Heels; Hold On and Fly

"Never give up.  
Never give up. 
Never give up." 
This is the entirety of a famous speech Sir Winston Churchill gave at his boyhood school as a grown man, the former Prime Minister of England, and one of the greatest statesmen of all time.  Plagued with depression all his life, and at the helm during the darkest period in Great Britain's history, Churchill knew the temptation to roll onto his back and give up for good.  Instead, he dug in his heels.  He kept believing in what he knew must happen.  He knew he must save England.  He knew Hitler must be stopped.

Churchill sought help where he could get it, and used every strategy he could to save England during the Second World War. How weary he must have felt of wracking his brains and pushing on-- especially when hard won ideas failed.  How he must have fought that "Black Dog" of depression when effort after effort went awry.  How he must have wept as soldiers and civilians were lost to Hitler's bombing blitzkrieg.  I remember Churchill now, when even at the beginning of this hard patch in my personal life.  While trying to make ends meet without spending our savings before we find work, while struggling to solve these new difficulties, I already grow tired.  I forget to be in the moment with joy.  If I could give up, I might, but there is nothing else to do but carry on.  I might as well be joyful, even when I don't know why.  I don't yet see the answer to my hopes and prayers.

This is what I hear in my remembering of Churchill's struggle.  Never give up hope that life can be good right now, just as it is, without the miracle you wait for.  In the time without miracles it is possible to contribute something, even when seemingly I have nothing to give.  Never give up the joy of living and the belief in myself and my family. Never give up looking for miracles.  See them in the small and mundane workings of the workday world.  To make room for bigger miracles, give up the baggage of spite and regret. Celebrate the pitfalls, as if they were free-falls.  Open the parachute and let go of fear.
Time for fearless flying. 

Winston Churchill also said this, "If you're going through Hell, keep going!"

This is what I tell myself now: don't give up.  Keep flying into the dark night.  I am afraid, and although this is only beginning--the job search, the tight finances, the worries, the straightened circumstances--I must take every example I can of those who have kept on.  I must not give up.

Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.  Rather, fall down!  Fall down and pray!  The winter will end and spring is coming.  


  1. Good old Winston. I hope he is now surrounded by a vast nebula of universal love. Maybe when we merge with the Big Ocean it doesn't matter any more what we did when we were coursing through the little streams of life, and especially what became of the seeds we sowed. For some of us it might be better not to know. But if there is something we can do to make our little portion of the universe that much more radiant...

  2. This is a great entry. Just what I needed to hear too :)
    I hope things are coming together for you guys...


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