Nov 04, 2015

Timeless words and imagery from the ‘greatest speech of all time’

“…Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….” Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator (1940)

Every now and then we come across words and sentiments that resonate. Taken in, or out of context such words can be resilient and timeless. Take this quote, the words are stirring and evoke powerful emotions of the importance of care in our humanity. Perhaps our memories bring us back in time to a quiet or personal moment of reflection where we heard such words before, or perhaps they take us forward with vision to the future and inspire? Maybe they mean something deeply personal to you as unforgotten sentiment locked in a strong emotional memory or maybe you have never heard them before and are simply touched by them for the first time? What does this video and speech mean to you? What does Charlie Chaplin mean to you in your history? What does this time or memory bring back for you that can share with us?

For us it reminds us of the wisdom of the elderly and what wisdom lies within the elders of our communities. We must find time to listen and learn from our parents, grandparents or great grandparents; or if this is your wisdom to share, perhaps next time your grandchild is visiting or calls, or your children reach out you can find time to share a story and share some wisdom too. What lessons did you learn that resonate across the decades that you can gift to the next generation? If you’re a nurse or a carer or a doctor, take the extra moment next time you are with an elderly resident or patient and ask a question about a particularly treasured memory for them or perhaps what life was like growing up in their time and make someone’s day by listening a little longer. If this speech reminds us of anything, it is that the wisdom in words and history is there but it is ours to listen and look for.

This is an incredibly stirring speech by Charlie Chaplin from The Great Dictator which is coupled with scenes of humanity’s most tragic and most hopeful moments in recent history. It covers more than we have touched on here and in some way means many things to different people and some will apply their own lens or perspective to it. Charlie Chaplin brings with him his own context and The Great Dictator itself was an important piece of cinematic history in its own right. As our friends at Ideapod observed, “The Great Dictator is a 1940 American satirical political comedy-drama film starring, written, produced, scored, and directed by Charlie Chaplin. This was Chaplin’s first true talking picture as well as his most commercially successful film. In the film, Chaplin plays a Jewish barber in the ghetto, the main protagonist. The Barber was a soldier during World War I and loses his memory for about 20 years. He later becomes the Fuhrer of Tomainia. The above video is Charlie Chaplin as Fuhrer, delivering his first speech, and dubbed by some as the ‘greatest speech ever made’.”

One of our followers came across this collage of imagery coupled with this ‘great speech’ recently on and we were compelled to share it with our community as it touches on the importance of care, of humanity and looking out for fellow man. Our senior citizens are vulnerable and rich with wisdom. Be inspired and be touched by the message’s of humanity like we were within it. We have also quoted some of the author’s of each of these posts and their insights above and provide you links below if you wish to view them directly.

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