"Never give in"
On 29 October 1941, Winston Churchill told the students at Harrow, his old public school: "Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.''
What does it mean, never to give in? It means to follow our own light steadfastly. It means to take our own counsel, and not turn away from our commitments. It means trusting ourselves, and not giving in to the demands of others. It means that we value Resolution and Independence, as The Leech Gatherer, through "employment hazardous and wearisome" (Wordsworth). It means that we laugh ourselves to scorn, "to find/In that decrepit man, so firm a mind." It means that we do not yield to outside influence. It means that we do not draw easy conclusions, and do not take the words of others as truth. It means that we follow our own muse, as did Emily Dickinson (Poem 316), and resist a world that asks:
Who'd be the fool to stay?
Would you -- Say --
Would you be the fool to stay?