Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Olympic Calm

I've been reading Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston that documents the great friendship between these two World War II leaders. Today I read a fantastic letter from Clementine to her husband Winston Churchill after she received complaints about his manner with subordinates:

It is for you to give the Orders and if they are bungled - except for the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker, you can sack anyone and everyone. Therefore with this terrific power you must combine urbanity, kindness and if possible Olympic calm. You used to quote: -- "On ne regne sure les ames que par le calme" [One can only reign over souls with calmness]...."

This enjoined calm in the midst of the Nazi storm reminded me of a similar characteristic of psychological hardiness in Franklin Roosevelt, about which I earlier blogged.

See The Sceptred Isle for the rest of this wonderful letter (scroll down to "Letter From Clementine Churchill To Her Husband Trying To Warn Him About Talk In The Commons")

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