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Winston Churchill’s Wife Spoke the Truth in Love

In the early days of World War II, the stress of the war began to take its toll on Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England. His wife Clementine grew alarmed. A member of Churchill’s inner circle told her that Churchill’s sarcastic and over-bearing manner was starting to discourage his inner circle of leaders. Clementine decided to speak the truth in love.

“My darling Winston,” she began in a letter, “I must confess that I have noticed a deterioration in your manner; and you are not so kind as you used to be.” She cautioned that in possessing the power to give orders and to sack anyone and everyone, “he was obliged to maintain a high standard of behavior—to combine kindness and if possible Olympic calm.” She reminded him that in the past he had been fond of quoting a French maximum, meaning, essentially, “one leads by calm.”

She continued: “I cannot bear that those who serve the country and yourself should not love you as well as admire and respect you.” But she warned, “You won’t get the best results by irascibility and rudeness. It will breed either dislike or a slave mentality.” She closed the letter with these words: “Please forgive your loving, devoted and watchful Clementine.”

Apparently, the letter got through to Winston. The next day people reported that he seemed remarkably at ease. He lay in bed, propped up by his bed rest as he gazed adoringly at his cat, Nelson, sprawled out peacefully at the foot of the bed.

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