The war slogan that inspire us… its history and application today
Everyday is a test — — of my resolve to keep calm and carry on doing things that I have to do. Everyday brings with it new demands. When one lot of work gets done, you bet another one will pop up whether it is office matters or personal challenges and pose a barrier to your otherwise perfect day.
I try to take it in my stride. Sometimes they are not my problems but others. But I always feel that Providence has been so kind to me in that I have managed to overcome most of my obstacles in my own way without much disastrous effects. Then it is my obligation as a mortal being to lessen the suffering of others in little ways that I can offer.
It helps if I keep calm. I am by nature anxious, excitable, worrying and impatient. Those are not ingredients for a placid mind but age has a blunting effect on our emotions. To be more accurate, one has to experience certain amount of vicissitudes of living to become stronger and attain a peaceful mind. In Asia, we call that ‘Having eaten more salt than rice” as the old folks would say. Translated as ‘seen much, done much’, nothing surprises anymore. Not even a crisis. Everything will turn out all right.
Whatever life brings, “Keep calm and carry on”. One day, I received as a gift a laptop cover with these words. I chanced upon the origin of this phrase while surfing the internet.
History of the slogan “ Keep calm and Carry on”
In 1939, with the threat of WWII against Germany looming, the British government commissioned the design of war propaganda posters to raise the morale of the public in case of massive air attacks on major cities.
It features a king’s crown, a symbol of the state, set against a red background with the words “Keep calm and carry on”.
2 1/2 million copies were printed but the posters were not sanctioned for immediate public display and placed in Cold Storage even though the War raids happened. After the war, the prints were largely pulped to save paper.
In 2000, an original copy was somehow discovered under some books at an auction by a bookseller, Stuart Marley and his Wife. The couple who bought it , decided to frame it and put in the shop. Lots of people liked it and wanted to buy .
Eventually they made copies for sale and sales soared. Other companies started to use it as a theme for many products with these five words appearing on mugs, bags, t-shirts even to this day.
There was so much interest that it even sparked a trademark war.Almost 80 years on, the phrase that was supposed to be a propaganda of that era has undergone a dramatic change. Originally, it was to show a kind of British trait , a bravado in the face of war , that literally would call for them to ‘ pull together, have a cup of tea and get on with it” This slogan has found its place all over the world in times of personal and national crises even today.
Now, because of commercialism, this phrase has been trivialized- you see products, slogans , speeches using this phrase and they have added their own concept. One says
- keep calm and drink tea -Mug
- Keep calm and call Mom- sticker
- Keep calm and sit down -chair …… and so on….
Whatever the modified phrase is, it calls out for us to remain calm in the event of adversity, difficulty or crisis. That is the start of resolving or alleviating a problem. No amount of shouting or crying or complaining helps. Such behavior would only muddles the mind.
“Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your life around it”—-Brian Tracy
I think that this phrase reflects an important attitude to life that we all should adopt. In a crisis of any sorts, life still have to go on, so keep calm , you can think better! Then carry on and do your best!
I almost think this should be on everyone’s lips. Problems don’t go away- they wait to get solved with a calm mind. It is very testy, mind you. It is easier said than done and that is the challenge.
In my clinical session, patients are often nervous and some would actually feel faint. Even if the job is difficult, a dentist should always keep calm or would add anxiety to the patient. We smile, joke a little, speak gently and move slowly all to put the patient at ease. With that mentality, the problem is often resolved without any issue as the patient becomes more co-operative.
So many times I have to keep my cool when problems erupt whether it involves myself or my loved ones. I may be in the midst of my work or on a vacation. Nothing should break my peace because I know and trust that things would turn out alright. Even if it does not, something good would come out of it. So, there are rarely disruptions in my life at least mentally and emotionally because it is all in our mind to control any upheaval. That is the way to live.