In 1939, Europe faced chaos. Germany, under a terrifying ruler, launched military actions against its neighbors, with a clear objective of far-reaching conquest. Looking ahead, the British government pondered what actions to take should there be an invasion or mass bombing of England.
During the summer of that year, a series of three posters were produced by the Ministry of Information in London. One of them read “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON”. Nearly 2.5 million were printed and kept in storage, to be used for bolstering public morale if times became especially dire. Interestingly, the posters were never distributed. They were recycled to pulp as part of the Paper Salvage campaign in 1940.
A few surviving copies of the Keep Calm And Carry On poster surfaced in a box of second-hand books purchased at auction by a shop owner in the year 2000. The slogan was revived, which led to memes, imprints on coffee mugs, t-shirts, calendars, etc. Many of these saying are parodies of the original. They’re meant to be clever or funny, but personally I’m not a fan. This motto comes from a truly solemn matter – I don’t want to make light of it. (If you disagree, that’s fine. Let’s not quarrel.)
The world today is once again chaotic. Volumes of information and misinformation are going around. In the midst of the confusion, let’s take a lesson from World War II era Britain.
Keep calm – Even if the current hysteria is justified (I’m not qualified to say), it does no good to panic. Fear makes us more vulnerable to all sorts of undesirable consequences and stirs the same in those around us.
Carry on – Live as close to normal as possible. Indeed, there are challenges and major adjustments to be made as businesses close, events are cancelled, quarantines are recommended, and the like. We’ve got to be wise, especially those at the greatest risk. But life goes on, and we must go on with it.
It was good advice then, and it is again today: Keep Calm And Carry On, even as we wait eagerly for victory over a serious situation.
4 comments on “Keep Calm And Carry On” Add yours →
Appropriate, timely and very good advise.
Wise advice Steve!
You are always so positive and profound. I was thinking about you this morning and hoping for some words of wisdom.
My take on your Wisdom!
I believe in being well informed so that I can prepare. The best source of information right now is the CDC.
We all need to be pro-active and take responsable measures to protect ourselves and our families. We can begin with little steps that will lead to leaps and bounds.
Self quarantine, and connect with family and friends to do the same. We need to support each other . This will take a village.
If we are well informed then we can make good choices which in turn will lead to positive results.
In the meantime we can use the time at home to exert energy in doings those things we never have the time to do.
Find our happy place. Some people clean,organize,teach your kids to do something you have always wanted to but didn’t have the time. Go on bike rides, nature walks. This negative has many positives.
This is my CALM and then I can CARRY ON.
Thank you Steve
Steve, I agree with Wanda. You’re perspectives reflect that of a wise soul. I know you’d disagree, but that’s just Steve’s humility. This period of time is another reminder of how “control” in the broader context is a fallacy and why I believe that character serves as a compelling anchor. Strength in my opinion is our consistency regardless of external circumstances. Everyone’s time on this earth is limited, and the integrity in which we live and how we treat and care for those around us is paramount to simply being “alive.” Those of us who have years under our belt have dealt with change, sometimes long lasting never going back to the way things were kind of change. It becomes the “new normal.” Let’s all live responsibly and extend dignity and care to those around us. We’ll adapt, we always do. Timely read Steve. Thank you my friend.