Keep Calm And Carry On

Sometimes things mean different when you look at them versus when you dig deeper and get to know them. Such is the story of my                                                                                      grandmother.IMG_1977She is an immigrant from England and I was really close with her growing up. One interesting habit she had that I remember was she was deathly afraid of thunderstorms. She would call my mom to send me or my sister over to her house whenever there was a thunderstorm or when a siren signal came as warning for an approaching tornado. My mothers was frustrated because she wanted her kids close whenever that happens.

A visit with my grandmother and my family over to England helped us understand the reason for her fear. One time we visited the white cliffs of Dover and we even visited the bomb shelters during the world war 2 which barely had coverage compared to our basement at home. There was also the Dover experience where they will give you a simulation of what it was like living through World War 2. My grandmother couldn’t even go in. We heard the sounds of planes overhead, bombs dropping and sirens wailing. That’s when we realized that the sound of the thunderstorms reminded my grandmother of bombs and the siren was very much like it was during World War 2. My grandfather was a British Air Force pilot and was even a prisoner of war so I can just imagine how traumatic those memories were for my grandmother. What was just a normal thunderstorm for us was clearly something else for my grandmother.

IMG_2471As I was reading about that time in England’s history, I came upon an interesting and inspirational story. During World War 2, the British government released posters to uplift the morale and inspire the people. The first one was distributed on September 1939 and it read, “Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory.” The 2nd one that came out was “Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might.” The last poster that was meant to be released should the invasion of Germany happen was supposed to be          “ Keep calm and carry on.”  Now I know a lot of you are familiar with this saying. It is all over bookstores printed on notebooks, key chains, notepads, frames, posters. It is practically everywhere and has now different variations even. I personally didn’t like it as first glance. I just thought that this quote didn’t have a punch. What was the inspiration to it? It’s only upon learning the deeper meaning of where this quote was from that I realized it’s importance. It was meant to be realized at a time when England’s future was unsure. There were enemy planes overhead, bombs dropping, family members died fighting for the country, and Hitler was about invade. The message was to keep calm and carry on. Because that’s what you have to do when you’re scared.

Keep calm, control your emotions, control your fear. I have a responsibility to keep calm and keep my mind together and use clarity and not let the emotions of the moment dictate how I respond. It applies very much to what is happening to us today. Now this is not a political post at all. This is a reminder for everyone that we all have to carry on. We each have a responsibility and we have to carry on. We cannot let fear paralyze us. Just like in England, they could not let the fear of what was going to happen next paralyze their daily actions.

Now some of you may take this as just a reflection of how you feel things are going in the country, some of you are just very excited about the change. It doesn’t matter where you are this lesson applies to your daily life. We all have bombs that drop in our life and we must accept those and not lose our head. We have people who depend on us. Let’s take it one day at a time. If you can keep calm at the most turbulent parts of your life then you can handle anything.

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