September 1914, the German Army is advancing towards Paris. The French government is in a panic. The Germans had to be stopped or France would undoubtedly fall.
It was decided that the French were to make a final stand and drive the Germans back, or die in the process.
“The supreme moment has arrived” and no matter what happened, French General Joffre stated, the last company of the French Army would be thrown into the battle to save France.
Keep in mind, the French had already suffered some 300,000 casualties (dead, wounded, and missing) in the first month of World War I.
Gone was the talk of triumphant victory and spending Christmas with the family. Those beliefs, shared by all the belligerent nations of Europe before the conflict began, had died along with the dreams of the young men who fought desperately in the fields of Belgium and France over the previous 30 days.
The war brought death and destruction on a scale previously unimaginable.
If you understand this context it’s easy to feel the sense of resignation in what Joffre was soon to tell his army . Joffre knew that tens of thousands of his fellow countrymen, under his orders, would surely march off to their deaths over the next few days.
But it had to be done.
Here is Joffre’s address to his Army.
“At the moment when a battle upon which depends the salvation of the country is being engaged, it is important to recall that the moment has come when one must no longer look back. All efforts must be employed in attacking and throwing back the enemy. A soldier which will not be able to advance further must, at whatever price, hold the ground conquered and be killed on the spot rather than draw back. In the present circumstances, no faltering can be tolerated.”
What is Serious?
We have a tendency to take minor things and blow them up into big deals. They take up more of your mind’s real estate than should be allowed.
– Someone didn’t return your text.
– The service at the restaurant was slow.
– Someone disagreed with you.
– Your favorite team got cheated by the refs.
– You didn’t get a raise.
– You got stuck in traffic
– People hold different political and religious views than you.
That message to the French Army–that was serious. That was life and death. Imagine yourself a battle weary French soldier, exhausted and half starving. You knew you would likely be dead or maimed within the next few days. If death was your fate, your only real desire was that it would be quick.
Most of us are not dealing with such grave propositions, assuming you aren’t actually in the process of dying, of course.
Yet we take things so damn seriously!
Ask yourself, is it killing you?
Does any good come out of holding on to this outrage?
If not, consider just letting it go.
Nothing good ever comes from negativity.
Goodness is all that counts in the long run.
Remember that, and you’ll live such a happier and more peaceful life.
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