The quest for leadership continues. In this post, I mean to share how William Wallace encouraged the hearts of those around him. I intend to focus mainly on the film, but I will also have some comments on history itself, possibly throwing a few bones to other leaders of the time, namely Robert the Bruce, Princess Isabella, and maybe even Longshanks. I mean, you can’t help but admire a man with the ability to commit such great acts of defenestration! (Not to be confused with castration).
Robert the Bruce is talking to his father, trying to make sense of what he has just done. His father attempts to comfort him, as well as share the bitter wisdom he has acquired in the long years of politics. In history, this man was also known as Robert “The Bruce.” In the film, he is a wasted old leper. In history, he was the sixth Lord of Annandale, a veteran of multiple wars. You can read about the Sixth Lord of Annandale here:
Ok….sorry for the rabbit hole. Anyhow, in the movie we are told by Robert VI that “All men betray. All men lose heart.” And I am afraid that, with the exception of Jesus and maybe a handful of others, this is absolute truth.
But I echo the anguished cry of the son in the movie. “I don’t want to lose heart. I want to believe. As he [William Wallace] does.”
Getting back to the topic, there were three ways Wallace encouraged the Scots.
- 1) He demonstrated the Scotts were able to beat the English.
- 2) He taught Robert the Bruce what it meant to lead people.
- 3) He never gave up.
Let’s go into these practices in more detail.
Often the reason leadership is necessary is simply that people don’t believe something can be done until someone else has accomplished it. “If people were meant to fly we’d have wings!” “If people were meant to run a four minute mile we’d have hooves.” Now these things are (relatively) common place.
In the film (and to a lesser extent in real life) William Wallace did what he could to take the fight to the English. He knew that if they rested on their laurels after their victory at Stirling the English would just come back with a bigger army and finish what they had started. In real life he basically just raided Northern England, in the movie he actually captures and sacks York. The Scotts who doubted there was any hope in fighting the English could point at what he did to erase doubt. If William can beat them, maybe we can as well.
As I detailed in the last post, William taught Robert the Bruce what it meant to be a leader. That people follow courage and not titles (he left out the part about how they follow a winner and not a loser, but perhaps that goes without saying). He taught him to appeal to the hearts desires of his people, and not to try to sell them on mad schemes for his own greater glory. Maybe they needed the nobles, maybe they didn’t, but the person on the battle front had to believe this really was their fight, and that their lives were not being spent in vain.
On that note….Wallace, neither in the movie, nor in real life, ever gave up.
I fear I summed it up pretty well in the caption to the picture. Perhaps my rhetoric is not the best, but surely, if you do believe in and value personal liberties and freedoms, surely you see the point. Not just William, so many thousands have died, at Bannockburn, at Valley Forge, at Gettysburg, at Iwo Jima….the list would be longer than this blog if I merely posted the battles, let alone the names, of the thousands upon thousands who have died so that you could sit in comfort, reading my silly posts, and making fun of Mel Gibson because there were flaws in his film.
That’s all for this post. The next one will finish the series as I discuss how he not only inspired the Scots to act, but he inspired them to act on their own.
“He taught him to appeal to the hearts desires of his people, and not to try to sell them on mad schemes for his own greater glory.”
Yes, oh, yes, what I would give for a STATESMAN to rise up again! I think there is a possibility that John McCain was one — although he wavered to the advisors on his Presidential campaign.
Surprisingly, I give the label of Statesman to Liz Chaney. She currently seems to be sacrificing any chance of re-election in order to do what’s best for the United States and expose the “mad King George-ness” of the former President. If she has a bigger scheme, it is a level of 3D chess far beyond my strategims to see.
“I mean no disrespect to the average police or the soldier who strives so hard, I don’t think it is these that cause the injustice. It is those who misdirect them. Those who give unjust commands, unjust laws, unjust verdicts, these are the Powers of Tyranny. ”
AMEN! Like the first quote above, when the powers that be can deceive or cajole someone into believing a message, it creates a powerful motivator with the “groundling” that they are not only doing the best thing but that they are doing it for a “righteous” or patriotic reason. It becomes a dangerous combination in the hands of the Deceiver.
I’m really looking forward to the next post on how outward inspiration became self-driven inspiration.
You are too kind. So far four out of five dentists surveyed say my blog is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!