Today William Jennings Bryan is remembered for his stirring “Cross of Gold” speech on monetary policy at the Democratic National Convention in 1896. But another speech was more important to him. He called it “The Prince of Peace.”
The three-time presidential nominee, preferred to “speak on religion than on politics” and said, “the most important things in life lie outside of the realm of government” and “more depends upon what the individual does for himself than upon what the government does or can do for him.” Bryan was the premier speaker on the summer Chautauqua circuit in the early twentieth century. “The Prince of Peace” was his most requested speech.
‘Service is the Measure of Greatness’
The full text of the speech runs over 8000 words and would take over an hour to deliver but the following is a glimpse into the heart of Bryan’s speech…
…Again, Christ deserves to be called The Prince of Peace because He has given us a measure of greatness which promotes peace. When His disciples quarreled among themselves as to which should be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, He rebuked them and said: ‘Let him who would be chiefest among you be the servant of all.’ Service is the measure of greatness; it always has been true; it is true to-day, and it always will be true, that he is greatest who does the most of good. And how this old world will be transformed when this standard of greatness becomes the standard of every life!
Margot Morrell is coauthor of the best-seller Shackleton’s Way – Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer, and author of the new Reagan’s Journey – Lessons from a Remarkable Career. She is based in Washington, D.C. and explores leadership and navigates the career world at LeadershipLives.com.
Margot Morrell | The Prince of Peace by William Jennings Bryan