These three remain: faith, hope and love
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV
In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton attempted the first land crossing of Antarctica. But his ship, the Endurance, got stuck in ice andwas crushed. Shackleton and his 27-member crew were stranded 1,200 miles from civilisation, drifting on ice floes with just three rickety lifeboats, a few tents and limited provisions. Eventually they reached a small island and waited while Shackleton and a handful of men took one of the lifeboats 800 miles over tumultuous seas to a whaling station. Shackleton returned with a rescue ship, and every man survived the 18-month ordeal. How did he keep everybody’s hopes alive? First, he modelled optimism. Shackleton, who described optimism as ‘true moral courage’, always believed that he and his crew would survive, and he spread that optimism to everyone around him. Second, he nurtured their sense of significance.
He kept everyone involved by seeking their opinions and giving them tasks that made them feel like they were part of the solution. Third, he encouraged them. He used humour and promoted a lighthearted atmosphere. Shackleton recognised that under extreme pressure, the ability to lighten the mood neutralises fear and enables people to focus, re-energise, and prevail over daunting obstacles. Isn’t it interesting that one of the few items Shackleton rescued from the sinking ship was a crewman’s banjo? He did it so the group could have music. Shackleton was a prime example of how one person can keep hope alive. If you know someone who’s in the middle of a difficult trial, your words of kindness and love, your confidence in them, your ability to lighten their load, can keep hope alive.