Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Among all the speeches we come across, why do we sometimes decide to forward one to our friends?

What does it take for a speech to go go viral?

What does it take for a speech to have us, speech-fans and –friends, send it to our loved ones because we think it will lift their spirits?

January 2017 offered a few such examples :

First came Mery Streep 2017 Golden Globes speech that many of you forwarded.

Then another speech got attention for "words which were surprising, honest, bold and deep. (The speaker) used language which won over many sceptics. Newspapers were now printing statements by (sceptics) expressing respect for the (speaker) and taking back their earlier objections. We know that this doesn't often happen. This is one of the reasons why we consider (this) speech extraordinary and historic".

Last but not least, a third speech inspired many of you in Europe, who shared it with their colleagues and friends and drew my attention to it.

Find out which speeches they are and some other good quotes in our monthly selection on www.logospathosethos.eu

And keep forwarding your favourite speeches.

Isabelle

Overcoming fear

(English below)

Als ich als 11-Jähriger im Hallenbad das erste Mal auf dem Dreimeterbrett stand, hat mir das keine Freude bereitet. Doch ein Kind, das das erste Mal da steht, weiß, wenn es sich weiterentwickeln möchte, muss es springen. Es weiß, es muss springen. Aber es weiß nicht, wie sich der Sprung anfühlt und wie es genau nach dem Sprung weitergehen wird. Und doch, in den meisten Fällen, wagt es den Schritt nach vorne. Ich habe es damals auch gewagt. Und auch den Sprung vom Fünfmeterbrett.

Warum?

Weil die Zuversicht stärker ist als der Zweifel… Ich appelliere heute an Ihre Zuversicht!

As an 11year-old boy at the indoor swimming pool, standing on the three-metre diving board for the first time did not make me happy. But children standing there for the first time know they have to jump if they want to make progress. They know they have to jump. But they don’t know what this jump will feel like and what exactly will happen after the jump. And yet, in most cases, they dare to take this step forward. I also did it back then. And I also jumped off the five-metre diving board  

Why?

Because confidence is stronger than doubt… Today I call upon your confidence!

Read the full speech here (English is below the German text): President Alexander Van der Bellen, Inauguration speech, 26 January 2017

Shortly after taking office as President of the German Federal Republic in 1994, Roman Herzog was invited by the Polish President Lech Wałęsa to take part in a commemoration, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. It was a time of heated historical debates and discussions about the wounds that could not heal. Not everybody in Germany thought that an inexperienced president should choose Poland, and specifically such a ceremony, as the destination of his first foreign visit. And not everybody in Poland accepted the participation of a German president in such a commemoration, in such a place. Newspapers published opinions of Polish citizens, both for and against. And then President Herzog came and offered Polish people words which were surprising, honest, bold and deep. He used language which won over many sceptics. Newspapers were now printing statements by Polish citizens, including veterans of the Warsaw Uprising, expressing respect for the President and taking back their earlier objections. We know that this doesn't often happen. This is one of the reasons why we consider Roman Herzog's Warsaw speech extraordinary and historic.

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, State funeral of former German President Roman Herzog, 24 January 2016

 

Now, you want to read this 1994 speech, don’t you ?

Here it is :

Read the full speech here: Bundespräsident Roman Herzog, anläßlich des Gedenkens an den 50. Jahrestag des Warschauer Aufstandes in Warschau, Warsaw 1 August 1994

 

Now, whether you are young or whether you're young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President -- the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.  I'm asking you to believe.  Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours. 

Read the full speech here: Barack Obama, Farewell address, 10 January 2017

 

There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization… To grow its economy, China must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market. If one is always afraid of bracing the storm and exploring the new world, he will sooner or later get drowned in the ocean. Therefore, China took a brave step to embrace the global market. We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountered whirlpools and choppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proved to be a right strategic choice.

Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from.

Read the full speech here: Xi Jinping, Opening plenary at Davos, 17 January 2017

 

Why am I telling you these stories? Because it is my biggest fear that we stop telling each other these stories, that we do not meet each other again. We live in a time of selfies, as Chief Rabbi Jacobs mentioned before. If we do not tell stories about the past, we are doomed to repeat past mistakes. He who does not know his past is doomed to repeat it.

Read the full speech here: First Vice-President Timmermans, Inauguration of Rabbi Cohen, 22 January 2017


Our ancestors survived the first industrial revolution, as hundreds of weavers' cottages were replaced by steam-powered factories. They adapted to change. And, just as in the 19th Century, the answer to the new globalised, industrial revolution is more investment, training and education to help people adapt. An adaptation that must take place as fast as technology evolves.

Against this reality, trade deals are a handy scapegoat. But if we - incorrectly - lay all the blame for economic change at the door of free trade or globalisation, we won't end up solving our problems: we'll just delay the solution.

Read the full speech here: Cecilia Malmström, The future of EU trade policy, Brussels, 24 January 2017

 

Strong openings

(English below)

Ich stehe hier mit einem Gefühl der Unwirklichkeit. Nicht wegen des langen Wahlkampfes – der war in großen Teilen ganz vergnüglich.

Und ich stehe heute hier mit großer Freude und Zuversicht!

Sie sehen ein Flüchtlingskind. In Wien geboren, mit meinen Eltern ins Kaunertal geflohen. Und jetzt darf ich als Ihr Bundespräsident vor Ihnen stehen. Das ist eine besondere Ehre und Freude für mich.

I stand here feeling a bit unreal. Not because of the long election campaign – for the most part, it was quite enjoyable.

And I stand here today with great joy and confidence! 

You are looking at a refugee child. Born in Vienna, I fled with my parents to the Kaunertal in Tyrol. And now I stand before you as your Federal President. This is a particular honour and pleasure for me. 

Read the full speech here (English is below the German text): President Alexander Van der Bellen, Inauguration speech, 26 January 2017


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” These are the words used by the English writer Charles Dickens to describe the world after the Industrial Revolution. Today, we also live in a world of contradictions. On the one hand, with growing material wealth and advances in science and technology, human civilization has developed as never before. On the other hand, frequent regional conflicts, global challenges like terrorism and refugees, as well as poverty, unemployment and widening income gap have all added to the uncertainties of the world.

Many people feel bewildered and wonder: What has gone wrong with the world?

Read the full speech here: Xi Jinping, Opening plenary at Davos, 17 January 2017 

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