creativity takes courage


HMS Resolute – a British ship that got lost in the Arctic in the 1800s. It was salvaged by American whalers, then Congress sent it back to England. When the ship finally retired, Queen Victoria had two desks made from its timbers. Voila… resolute twins.

Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) – National Treasure: Book of Secrets

The movie scene happens in Paris. In National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, the main character discovers a new clue in the “French Statue of Liberty”. It is an inscription (made up for the movie) by Édouard de Laboulaye.

Laboulaye was the French genius that proposed creating a monument for the United States to honor the ideals of freedom and democracy.

The scene itself is a screenwriting treasure. It also brings the fact that the US Constitution is inspired by the ideas of French philosopher Montesquieu. That single line connects the French police character and Ben Gates together.

As the scene goes on, the monument’s inscription would lead the movie characters to the “twin resolute desks” (one in the US, and the other in the UK). These “resolute” desks do exist in real life and were in fact made from the timbers of the HMS Resolute, a lost Royal Navy ship found by an American whaler and then returned to the British Queen Victoria in 1856.

There were three desks made from those timbers (although they were not real twins).

The US Resolute desk has been used by American Presidents in the Oval Office since 1961.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Scene: “These twins stand resolute”

Every year lots of people in the world have New Year Resolutions. Funnily enough, when I looked at the definition for the word “resolute” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, here’s what I found:

“Resolute comes from the same Latin verb as resolved, and the two words are often synonyms. So how did it get this meaning from the Latin? Essentially, when you resolve a question or problem, you come to a conclusion, and once you’ve reached a conclusion you can proceed to act. So in your New Year’s resolutions, you resolve—or make up your mind—to do something. Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions aren’t a good illustration of the meaning of resolute, since only about one in ten actually seems to succeed.

The dictionary says that Resolute means: “admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering”.

New Year Resolutions are hard, but these are inspiring words to contemplate, think and act, with courage.

What a beautiful (and much better) way to start a new year.