I am frequently asked, “Why Churchill.” The reference of course is to my dedication and admiration of the great man. My standard answer to people who I know don’t know Churchill is that he made a ton of mistakes and then saved the free world. That is indeed an extremely short answer considering all his accomplishments.
I had a high school coach whose philosophy was you either win or learn. This had nothing to do with the “everyone’s a winner” fallacy. His point was well taken and that was his coaching style. This also encompasses Churchill’s life as well.
People who sit back and do nothing never make mistakes, never grow personally, or fulfill their potential as human beings. We can safely say that Churchill fulfilled several lifetimes.
Although Churchill was wrong about many things, In many cases I don’t believe that he was wrong but only in opposition. Never afraid to speak his mind. Never afraid to ask others what was on their mind. Never afraid to act when action was needed.
Churchill once told his wife Clementine at if he had not made mistakes, he may not have made anything. Is it possible that his early mistakes were his greatest gift? Certainly, his greatest attribute was the ability to learn from his mistakes and apply them to his future greatness.
His wicked wit, his boldness in speech and actions set him up for long years in the 1930’s. Stanley Baldwin’s meekness, Chamberlin’s arrogance, and the Holy Fox – Lord Halifax’s peace at any cost mentality, turned the Conservatives against the truth and the truth bearer, Churchill.
Would Hitler have been stopped if Churchill were Prime Minister in 1936? We can only speculate. In the end the unnecessary war became necessary and the man whom at an early age, predicted that he would be called upon to save Britain not only did that but also saved the free world.
Do great men come only once in a lifetime? With today’s cancel culture, overt political correctness, and young people having tremendous un-understanding of the world, I sure hope great men come frequently, but looking at the horizon it may be up to our grandchildren to straighten this all out.
Happy 146th Sir Winston Spencer Churchill. May long live your memory, your foibles, and your victories. Your life has been a life lesson for all of us.