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On this day in 1874 Winston Churchill was born. Apart from being a hugely inspirational leader and a fearless warrior for his country he was also a gifted writer and speaker, a talented painter, and an accomplished bricklayer. I rather like this little verse he wrote in French, on the subject of his painting:
La peinture á l’huile
Est bien difficile,
Mais c’est beaucoup plus beau
Que la peinture á l’eau.
Churchill famously said: “I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial . . . I thought I knew a good deal about it all, I was sure I should not fail.” This poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson says the same thing:
Deep in the man sits fast his fate
To mould his fortunes, mean or great:
Unknown to Cromwell as to me
Was Cromwell’s measure or degree;
Unknown to him as to his horse,
If he than his groom be better or worse.
He works, plots, fights, in rude affairs,
With squires, lords, kings, his craft compares,
Till late he learned, through doubt and fear,
Broad England harbored not his peer:
Obeying time, the last to own
The Genius from its cloudy throne.
For the prevision is allied
Unto the thing so signified;
Or say, the foresight that awaits
Is the same Genius that creates.
Today I reflect on the importance of accepting one’s destiny.