In 1939, Nicholas Winton used a two-week vacation to go to Prague and ended up saving the lives of 669 children. I’ll let that sink in for a minute and then explain.
He was a stock-broker — a regular guy — from London who was concerned about the Jewish people in Czechoslovakia due to the impending invasion of the Nazis. In particular, he recognized that no one was doing anything about the children living in refugee camps after their families were displaced.
He decided to do something. He didn’t know what exactly, so he took a holiday from his job and headed to Prague. He ended up setting up shop in the center of the city, working tirelessly to arrange for safe transport of almost a thousand children to waiting families in London. Unfortunately, the last train he arranged — which was to leave Prague the very day war broke out — never made it. While the 250 children on that train were presumed dead — along with just about all of the families left behind — almost 700 others made it safely and now owe their lives to Winton. They’ve had children, who have also had children… and they credit Winton for their very existence today.
This is how a guy takes a two week vacation and ends up with 15,000 kids. 😉 All kidding aside, this is also a great example of how one person can change our world… how one determined person can end up altering the very course of history.
In fact, Nicholas Winton says his motto is this:
So simple, and yet so encouraging to any of us facing a task that seems completely and utterly impossible. We must step back and ask ourselves: Is it actually impossible? Because if not, then there must be a way. We just have to find it.