To see the truth in spite of your circumstances is the greatest mental work, the work of kings and queens, the essential quality of great leaders. To see abundance in the face of poverty, to see health in the face of a devastating disease, to see victory in the face of inevitable defeat, is our highest mental calling and the hallmark of a leader.
Winston Churchill was such a man. It was 1940, and most of Europe had fallen under the Nazi blitzkrieg; Hitler appeared unstoppable. Churchill described the situation as “our darkest hour.” Despite these circumstances, he conveyed unshakable courage and leadership. At the time, the Americans had not yet entered the war, the Germans had not yet attacked Russia, and Great Britain stood alone against the Germans as the only unoccupied antagonist in Western Europe. The Germans were positioned on the coast of France 90 miles from the heart of the British Empire, the most expansive empire the world had ever known. Bombs called “blockbusters” indiscriminately rained down on London. Not only were the British in grave danger, but so was the fate of the world. In the midst of these unimaginable circumstances, Churchill motivated an entire nation when he stated during the Battle of Britain: “…If the British Empire…lasts for 1,000 years, men will still say, this was their finest hour.”