This amazing video, of Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in the film “The Great Dictator“, mixed with a splash of modern imagery and the ethereal song “Window” by The Album Leaf probably really does deserve the accolade of “The Greatest Speech Ever Made”
Chaplin’s prophetic speech was as true then in the early 1940’s as it is today. Maybe even more so today. In a world gone mad, where celebrity, materiality and greed take precedence over education, common decency and compassion towards our fellow man, his words instill a passion that seems to have been lost on most everyone across this spinning blue and green piece of celestial rock we call home….we call Earth.
Hell bent on killing each other just as quickly and callously today as we did in the previous two world wars, our continued intolerance of one another has fanned the flames of hatred and instilled an ideological mistrust of one another over religion as great as the same mistrust that was once fueled between the West and East during the Cold War.
We say to ourselves that we have achieved greatness. Our intellect is unmatched amongst the animal kingdom, that we dominate the world we live in. And yes, we might be clever and make the most use of having opposable thumbs. But what use is that intellect if we don’t do anything good for humanity and for the generations to come. We continue to pollute the planet, rape it of its resources, all the while killing off species after species, over-fishing, over-farming and never ensuring that we can continue to inhabit this planet for years to come or ensuring that the food and wealth and education are fairly distributed among the entire world’s population. And we are the ONLY animal on the planet actively engaged in self destruction of the world in which we live.
I’m no eco-warrior, nor am I a multi-billionaire philanthropist. I am but one man. And though I might not be able to make a huge impact individually, I will endeavour to do so nonetheless. Because I want to ensure that I set an example for my children, my nieces and nephews, to ensure that they see someone whom they love and respect living by the same set of values he preaches to them about. And maybe along the way I will be able to meet other like minded people who are inspired to do the right thing and live as harmoniously with the planet AND their fellow man to make this world a better place than that which we ourselves inherited.
Sure, I’ll still drive my car, and fly on holiday. But, I can choose to eat the food grown locally, turn off the lights when I’m not using them, recycle as much as I can and cycle short distances instead of driving my car.
Sure, I’ll still get pissed off with bureaucrats, or obtuse, single minded individuals who can only see the world in black and white, rather than in the rich technicolour in which it’s painted. But I’ll teach my kids to understand the differences that make each person who they are. To accept those differences, to try and understand them and to cherish them, because variety REALLY IS the spice of life.
We as individuals CAN, in a small way, make this world that bit better. The more of us that try, means the quicker we can collectively achieve a world of harmony, peace and understanding.