I have not yet begun to fight!
Allow me then to relate to you a story of an American war naval hero named John Paul Jones who dreamt of giving glory to his nation by engaging in warfare at sea. In one of his daring raids on the enemies' homeland on the 23rd day of September 1779, he encountered a convoy of ships, which were superior in crew, armament, speed and maneuverability in comparison to his old small warships. Because of this big disparity in ammunitions, an impending desperate sea-fight was about to happen.
When the battle began, due to the enemies' advantage, many of Jones' crew were killed and became of no use as the battle continued. Furthermore, his ships became vulnerable to the assailant's attacks and started to sink. As Jones' fleet becomes defenseless, his crew started to lose confidence in their pursuit that they initiated a call to surrender.
Upon hearing the call for surrender, the enemies yelled across to Jones if he as the captain was prepared to give up the fight and surrender his ships. However, due to his desperation for victory, he immediately opposed it by saying, "I have not yet began to fight."
The immense fighting spirit and determination exemplified by Jones gave his crew the needed strength and devotion to pursue the battle in a deceitful plan that produced disastrous explosion on board the enemies' ships. This became the root that the opponent's captain to surrender. From then on, John Paul Jones was known for this remarkable victory and was acclaimed to be the "Father of the American Navy".
Maybe this story is unfamiliar to us since we are not navies but certainly, it made us wonder how could such man managed to personify a never-say-die attitude in such desperate time? We could say, how brave he was, indeed. However, we might ask ourselves, what motivated such man not to surrender even though he was faced with danger and had the slightest hope of victory?
For me, Jones' courage is not mere action that resulted from the misfortune but instead there were reasons behind why he was able to realize his intentions. First, he was determined not to fail. Second, his abilities aided him to outwit his foes in spite of their advantage. Lastly, his ambition to bring honor to his countrymen kept him to strife with all his might.
«I have not yet begun to fight."- the famous line of John Paul Jones. Isn't it encouraging that Jones' men were moved by this that made the impossible to happen? Why won't we ask ourselves then, do we have such valor to withstand all hardships like Jones did inspite of the pain it takes? Moreover, are we convinced that we will achieve a remarkable victory in our lives? On the other hand, are we prepared enough for us to go on our battles ahead?“They can because they think they can!" the famous writer Virgil said. This highlights that if we try to focus ourselves to our goals, everything ahead will be within our control even times becomes uneasy and painful. Hence, in this profession, if we only think we can, we really can!
However, I believe that some of you still would say, "that won't be enough for no matter how much we want and how often we think to succeed, we still aren't assured in the future!" Yes, indeed the chances of failure equals our chances of victory. Nevertheless, I would rather say, we might be in doubt if we would survive the difficulties to come. However, haven't we thought that we are here because God thinks we can?
A proverb states, the Lord has made everything for his own purpose. This reminds us that we are created for a purpose and even how much we doubt ourselves, this is for sure the reason why we are here today!
Then there is no reason at all why we should doubt because each and everyone of us were endowed with gifts by God to be used in all our undertakings. These undertakings might be difficult at first, like our studies. Because of a purpose, we are fully-equipped to succeed. With this faith coupled with perseverance, we will achieve honor for ourselves, our chosen profession, for others and for God!
Moreover, we live to set a good example to others. Our enthusiasm and determination to survive in a complex journey would elevate the desire of others by emulating such virtues. We are also here my dear friends for our families in exchange of the sacrifices they have made and the tremendous effort they exerted to send us to school. Lastly, we are here to assume the responsibility of being an instrument of change as future nurses by influencing others, thus, we are called to make a better world!
I hope the story of John Paul Jones has inspired us as we accept new tasks. May his spirit be in each of us even though our dreams might be falling like the sinking ships of Jones. In addition, may we follow the precedence of Jones who tried first before surrendering, acted right, did his best and ended triumphantly in his quest.
Because of this, WE SHALL ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE. This is just the beginning of a brighter future and together we firmly say," I WON’T GIVE UP FOR I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!"