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The Midweek Motivator – The Art of Being Fearless

Concerned? Apprehensive, even frightened? That’s reasonable. Sometimes we look back to look ahead. This historical recollection might help. Most of us were born well after 1940 wherein the world caught fire when Nazi Germany declared war on Great Britain; Adolph Hitler’s quest for world dominion.

On Winston Churchill’s first day as Prime Minister Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen with the Dunkirk evacuation but two weeks away. Over the next eighteen months Hitler would launch a bombing campaign; his Luftwaffe relentlessly killing 46,000 Britons. From June 1940 through much of 1941, Churchill held the line until those who were half asleep were half ready, including the United States.

Night after night hundreds of German planes bombed London and other English cities from Coventry to Birmingham. The Luftwaffe’s rotund, bejeweled, Hermann Goering, claimed “he would wipe out the Royal Air Force in a few weeks!” But England had not been asleep. Its scientific superiority had created advanced Radar; mostly unknown in 1940. Thus with fighters on par with Germany’s Messerschmitt, Royal Air Force Spitfires and Hurricane’s were in the air, ready to meet “The Fat Man’s” squadrons and by the end of that summer, the Luftwaffe had lost scores of planes and pilots. Much to Goering’s surprise the RAF seemed to produce airplanes overnight.

Incensed, Hitler changed tactics indiscriminately bombing London; from Whitehall to 10 Downing Street and the West End’s Financial District. Many impoverished Londoners slept in London subways suffering unsanitary conditions while scores of children were whisked away to the countryside for safer existence (until Hitler called for bombing there).

As for Churchill’s strategy, he appealed to his government hold-the-line until Franklin Roosevelt recognized England could take it; a worthy ally willing to fight to the end. As history records in early 1941—pre Pearl Harbor—Roosevelt, hoping to help his ally without declaring war, cooked-up his “Lend Lease” idea; “leasing” a group of outdated WW1 destroyers to England to ensure rapidly dwindling supplies could be carried across the Atlantic. In parallel England’s vastly advanced Intelligence group at Bletchley Park broke German codes, thus availing waiting squadrons of Spitfires and Hurricanes with knowledge of when-and-where Luftwaffe attacks would cross the Channel. That uncommonly warm sun-filled summer of ‘40 was underscored with Churchill’s most highly revered quotation: Let us brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and it’s Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: ‘this was their finest hour.

Those distant moments can liberate us from today’s political dysfunction sending us back to a time before our lives began when through unprecedented leadership in the face of unrelenting terror, a great leader’s presence and unfailing intensity bound a country and a family as one.

Today like the rest of the world, America is faced with perhaps its greatest domestic challenge since the Polio virus or possibly, the Civil War. So the question arises, how will we be remembered for dealing with it a year, a decade or perhaps a Century from now? Fear may be a natural response but it’s an unproductive one. I trust you’ll join us, betting on the country to come together to reenergize in beating down this opponent and soon.