Charlie Chaplin was a very funny man. I remember seeing his movies as a kid and thinking he was hilarious. Only much later, I discovered that Charlie Chaplin’s movies were not comedy, but philosophical and very sharp in their social messages.
One of the greatest and most inspiring speeches he gave, in the movie “The Great Dictator”, was about the human spirit. The movie was done in 1940 and it is amazing to see just how relevant it is to what happens in our society today. Over 70 years later, we still have the same challenges.
I am the Queensland State Director of an organization called Together for Humanity that teaches kids about respect and acceptance and how working together can make a huge difference in the world around us. I have been doing this work for 4 years and feel like I am changing the world one school community at a time.
The only problem in this work is that there is a lot to be done and it requires more parents, more educators and more people who care to make an impact quickly and strongly enough. I believe that we all are all responsible for making this world a better place and that we can win by uniting.
Here is Charlie Chaplin’s video with a powerful modern spin. His speech is below the video.
I hope it will inspire you as much as it inspires me.
Charlie Chaplin’s speech from The Great Dictator
Hope… I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an Emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible – Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that.
We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world, there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful.
But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all. Even now, my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say, “Do not despair”.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now], liberty will never perish…
Soldiers, don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate. Only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery. Fight for liberty.
In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written, “The kingdom of God is within man”. Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men – in you, the people.
You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let’s use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Look up! Look up! The clouds are lifting. The sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where men will rise above their hate and brutality.
The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow, into the light of hope, into the future – that glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up. Look up!
Care, share and the world will be a good place.