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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Heroes With Clay Feet

My husband and I were discussing one of my favorite movies today, "Amazing Grace," the British one about William Wilberforce and William Pitt and their fight to end the slave trade. The bill to end it finally passed in 1833. And there was John Newton, who used to be a slave ship captain, became a monk and wrote the song " Amazing Grace." It gives me Godbumps every time I hear that song and think of him, his life and his transformation.

Their fights to end the slave trade, their defeats, their willingness to try again and again, touch me deeply. A few inspired and determined people can turn the world around. And they don't have to be perfect.

Wilberforce became addicted to laudanum, an opium powder containing morphine and codeine. Apparently, it used to be used by quite a few people, most of whom became addicted. It caused him frightening hallucinations including ones of chained children in slave ships.

William Pitt became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24, and was the first Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. In spite of his position, he was not able to stop the slave trade during his tenure.

In spite of their foibles, they overcame and changed history. These three imperfect men are heroes of mine. And we too can accomplish the great things that call us, foibles and all.

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