The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Faith, Hope and Love.

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Today’s story is all about a man who showed exceptional heroism and above all never gave up hope.

In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team attempted the first land crossing of Antarctica. But his ship, the Endurance, got stuck in the floating pack ice and was crushed. Shackleton and his twenty seven crew members were stranded 1,200 miles from civilisation, drifting on ice floes with just three rickety lifeboats, a few tents and limited provisions.
Eventually they reached a small island and quickly realised that they would soon run out of their limited provisions unless they had help, so Shackleton and a handful of men took one of the lifeboats and sailed 800 miles over tumultuous seas to a whaling station. Shackleton later returned with a rescue ship and every man survived the 18 month ordeal.

How did he manage to keep everyone’s hope alive? First, he was an ultimate
optimist, who described optimism as “true moral courage” and always believed that he and his crew would survive this ordeal and he managed to spread that optimism to everyone around him. Second, he nurtured their sense of significance and kept everyone involved, by seeking their opinions and giving them tasks which made them feel part of the solution. Third, he encouraged them and used humour and promoted a light hearted atmosphere within the camp. Shackleton recognised that under extreme pressure, he had the ability to lighten the mood, neutralise fear and enable people to focus and prevail over their daunting obstacles. It’s really interesting that one of the few items he saved from his sinking vessel was a crewman’s banjo, so they could have some music to help keep up the moral.

Shackleton is a prime example how one person can keep hope alive among many
others. If we know someone who’s in the middle of their own crisis, our words of kindness and love, our confidence in them and our efforts to lighten their load, can go a long way to keeping hope alive in their lives also.

The secret of success is consistency of purpose. First, evaluate and revaluate your goals.
Then have a plan, a design, so that your efforts will add up to achieve the desired results.

Published Fri 6th Sep 2013 15:26:53

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