Motivation

Shakespeare, Motivation, War, What Are We Doing Here?

I’m a sap. I can’t help but get choked up when I read or hear Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day speech in Henry The V.

eHow tells me that “Saint Crispin’s Day is a good day to honor lives well lived, beliefs held dear and shoes well made.” But Steve Denning calls the speech a “magical, linguistic sleight of hand,” and warns us:

…it may work for a battle, or even several battles. But the danger in real life is =that it may not be sustainable. It unravels when people begin to question: what’s the point?

Perhaps even more so today, when the justification of war is a often a matter of serious debate and question, the US Army finds that the soldier’s will to fight and kill stems mainly from the soldiers’ interest in surviving and having their buddies survive, rather than in any belief in the purpose of the war. The story of who we are as a fighting unit is more powerful than: what on earth are we doing here, shooting and killing people?