November 1, 2010, I bring you words of encouragement for these ARE days that try men’s souls.
Take heart my friends, stay the course, and see this race through to the end.
I give you Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gates of Mordor:
Hold your ground – hold your ground! . . . my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day may come when the courage of Men fails; when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship; but it is not this day – an hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the Age of Man comes crashing down – but it is not this day!!! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth – I bid you stand!
Or King Theoden at the Fields of Pellenor:
Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. ~Franklin D. RooseveltFall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement – and we will make the goal. ~Jerome Fleishman
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary
If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again. ~Flavia Weedn, Flavia and the Dream Maker, © Flavia.com
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey
If you’re going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill
A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown
The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief. ~William Shakespeare, Othello
I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa
We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. ~Garrison Keillor
I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. ~Jewish Proverb
We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa
Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~Barbara Bloom
I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. ~Agatha Christie
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. ~John F. Kennedy, address, 12 April 1959
It’s not easy taking my problems one at a time when they refuse to get in line. ~Ashleigh Brilliant
That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not. ~James K. Feibleman
The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. ~John Vance Cheney
Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out. ~Edwin Markham
Adversity is the first path to truth. ~Lord Byron
The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter. ~Author Unknown
Fortune knocks but once, but misfortune has much more patience. ~Author Unknown
Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. ~Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Satires
There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. ~Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, 1820
The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt. ~Max Lerner, The Unfinished Country, 1950
God uses suffering as a whetstone, to make men sharp with. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. ~Rainer Maria Rilke
Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them. ~Hugh Miller, Snow on the Wind
God gave burdens, also shoulders. ~Yiddish Proverb
Man performs and engenders so much more than he can or should have to bear. That’s how he finds that he can bear anything. ~William Faulkner
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. ~Winston Churchill
The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them. ~Bernard M. Baruch
It is foolish to tear one’s hair in grief, as though sorrow would be made less by baldness. ~Cicero
I have woven a parachute out of everything broken. ~William Stafford
I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. ~James Russell Lowell, “Cambridge Thirty Years Ago,” Literary Essays
Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead end street is just a place to turn around. ~Buddy Buie and J.R. Cobb, “Rock Bottom”
If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. ~Latin Proverb
Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll. ~Author Unknown
But ne’er the rose without the thorn. ~Robert Herrick
God brings men into deep waters, not to drown them, but to cleanse them. ~John Aughey
Never give in… never, 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 force… never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~Winston Churchill
You must be at the end of your rope. I felt a tug. ~Author Unknown
And of course, there’s George Patton. Every other word is a * simply because, it was Patton.
Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullsh**. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.”
The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.”
“All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call “chicken shit drilling”. That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don’t give a fuck for a man who’s not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn’t be here. You are ready for what’s to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you’re not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-a**hole-bit** is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of sh**!”
“My men don’t surrender”, Patton continued, “I don’t want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That’s not just bull sh** either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!”
“We want to get the hell over there”, Patton continued, “The quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the ** Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the GD Marines get all of the credit.”
“Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the basta**s who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin”, he yelled, “I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bit** Hitler. Just like I’d shoot a snake!”
“I don’t want to get any messages saying, “I am holding my position.” We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy’s balls. We are going to twist his ba**s and kick the living shi** out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like cr*p through a goose; like sh** through a tin horn!”
“From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don’t give a good GD about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.”
“There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled sh** in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-GD-Bit** named Georgie Patton!”
When asked about the speech, Patton replied:
“When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight it’s way out of a pi**-soaked paper bag.” …
“As for the types of comments I make”, he continued with a wry smile, “Sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.”