With each and every day filled with bad news as we struggle to deal with the full impact of the coronavirus across the world it can be for all of us difficult to remain positive. History is littered with speeches delivered by leaders who wished to lift the spirits of those who follow them.
I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you a selection of words delivered by leaders in the past and hopefully you will find their words still inspiring, decades after they were said.
“But has the last word been said? Must we abandon all hope? Is our defeat final and irremediable? To these questions I answer – No!”
Charles De Gaulle 1940
“The safety of the world requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast. Surely, we should work with conscious purpose for a grand pacification of Europe, within the structure of the United Nations and in accordance with our Charter.”
Winston Churchill 1946
“You are not all going to die. Only two per cent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he’s not, he’s a liar. Some men are cowards, but they fight just the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are.”
George Patton 1945
“We are not only scientists; we are men too. We cannot forget our dependence on our fellow men. These are the strongest bonds in the world, stronger than those even that bind us to one another, these are the deepest bonds – that bind us to our fellow men.”
J. Robert Oppenheimer 1945
“Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively”
Nikita Khrushchev 1956
“So, I hope that all of you who have this great advantage of education will not only do whatever work you are doing keeping the national interests in view, but you will make your own contribution to creating peace and harmony, to bringing beauty in the lives of our people and our country. I think this is the special responsibility of the women of India. We want to do a great deal for our country, but we have never regarded India as isolated from the rest of the world. What we want to do is to make a better world. So, we have to see India’s problems in the perspective of the larger world problems.”
Indira Gandhi 1974
This is not the first global pandemic that the world has had to deal with, and it will not be the last. There is no point feeling sorry for yourself at this time.
We all need to find buried inside of us the will and the spirit needed for all of us common men and women to do uncommon things.
Never underestimate your true potential especially during difficult times.