Few things will bring on the goosebumps like listening to Winston Churchill’s 1940 “fight them on the beaches” speech, easily one of the strongest statements of national unity and patriotic defiance in all of human history.
The prime minister spoke for a people who, as he said, would “never surrender,” and he was right. Even with London smoldering from the Blitz and the nation standing virtually alone against Hitler’s war machine, they didn’t break. And their persistence eventually saw the tide turn and Europe liberated.
The secret to their endurance is really not a secret at all. The British in Churchill’s day were a people with a purpose. Churchill called what they faced a fight against tyranny, and the nation believed him. As C. S. Lewis observed in his wartime radio addresses, some of which later became part of his book “Mere Christianity,” the Nazis really were wrong, and the Allies really were right. Good and evil exist and can be known. That, Lewis observed, was a signpost to the meaning of life.
Britain has undergone quite a transformation since Churchill’s speech. Last week, The Sun reported on a new, nationwide survey that plied 1,500 Brits of all ages with a variety of questions about their attitudes and beliefs. Among the results: a stunning 89 percent of those aged 16 to 29 said their lives lack meaning and purpose.
In other words, Nihilism is running rampant among Millennial and Gen-Z Brits. Just half of those aged 60 and over gave similarly hopeless answers, which is still not a great result but certainly better than 89 percent.
The Sun suggests this means people find purpose in life as they age. Or, it could mean that Brits are steadily losing a sense of meaning and purpose with each generation.
Evidence for the latter interpretation comes from the answers participants gave to other questions: 84 percent of young people said they’re failing to “live their best life.” Nearly 40 percent also said they’d choose to re-do their lives if they could.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris