Monday, August 24, 2015

What Churchill and Attlee Had in Common: Morgan Griffith's Thought for Teachers

From U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):


Individuals Make a Difference

As I have been driving throughout the Ninth District, I have been listening to a fascinating series of historical lectures. Many folks seem to think individual people do not make a significant difference in history. I don’t think that’s so.

Consider, for example, Elizabeth Everest, who served as Winston Churchill’s nanny or “governess.” The two were very close – Churchill later wrote of her, “My nurse was my confidante. Mrs. Everest it was who looked after me and tended all my wants. It was to her I poured out all my many troubles.”

That alone would make Everest worthy of note.

But as we know, Churchill’s career had many ups and downs, such as when he was defeated by the Labour Party and replaced by Clement Attlee nearing the end of World War II.

What does this have to do with Elizabeth Everest?

Well, Attlee was younger than Churchill. After Everest’s time with the Churchill family, she served as nanny to another British family – the Attlees.

One woman cared for two young men who happened to be future British Prime Ministers. The odds of that occurring are astoundingly small. There must have been something remarkable about Elizabeth Everest.

None of us grew up in Victorian England and, like you, I did not have a nanny. But our teachers often fill some of that role. As our children are starting school, we have to believe many of our children’s teachers will leave indelible, positive impacts on their students. Let us hope that some of them are like Elizabeth Everest – though their work may not be seen for decades, their students may go on to shape the modern world.