Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents teach their children to learn from the great people of history. When we study history and learn from the mistakes of others, we do not need to repeat those same mistakes; therefore, we are strengthened to face our own weaknesses.
One of the great people of history who can teach us much is Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (30 November 1874-24 January 1965), a British politician who is best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He was born into an aristocratic family and was the grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father was Lord Randolph Churchill, a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his mother was Jennie Jerome, an American socialite. He saw military action as a young army officer and gained fame as a war correspondent who wrote books about his campaigns.
Churchill was at the forefront of politics for fifty years and held many political and cabinet positions. He served twice as Prime Minister (1940-45 and 1951-55) and is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century. He was out of office during most of the 1930s, but he took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. When World War II broke out, he was reappointed as First Lord of the Admiralty and became Prime Minister when Neville Chamberlain resigned on 10 May 1940. He steadfastly refused to consider defeat, surrender, or compromise peace and inspired British resistance – especially during the difficult days of the War when Britain stood alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. His speeches and radio broadcasts inspired the British people. He led Great Britain as Prime Minister until Nazi Germany was defeated.
Churchill was not only a noted statesman and orator, but he was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
Some of the greatness of Churchill can be seen in the following quotes. More of his quotes can be found here.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
“You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.”
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
“Never give in, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to a force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
“Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.”
“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
“Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”
The great leaders of history can teach the rising generation much of what they need to know in order to endure well the coming bad times. We can strengthen our families by teaching our children about the great people of history and thus strengthen our communities and nations.