Prince Albert, the second son of King George V of England, had a stuttering problem. In spite of a long string of speech therapists, he thought he’d never be able to speak normally. His story is portrayed in the movie The King’s Speech. What’s fascinating to me, and will be to you as well, is the story beneath the story.
Called Bertie by the royal family, Prince Albert knew from birth that he would play second fiddle to his older brother, Edward, whom the family called David. He spent his childhood being measured against the future king of England. A stutterer who was not particularly athletic, he just didn’t measure up.
Still, the family put pressures on Bertie. He was expected to perform his duty of speaking to royal subjects. Because of his stuttering, he suffered terrible embarrassment on the platform. But they trundled him out over and over again, and he dutifully performed, in horrible emotional pain. In spite of speech therapists, nothing changed.
The story beneath the story
Bertie carried with him, in his Knower/Judger, a life script engraved on him like a carving in stone. He would forever be the one-down, the second son of a king of England. He would never be king. He was never going to be able to work hard enough, to be good enough, to do anything but socialize on behalf of the monarchy and give the occasional speech at polo matches.
His K/J knew the rules, and he had no motivation to change his K/J. He knew who he was—and he was a stutterer.
The formidable string of speech therapists must have sounded like current-day Nike ads. “Just do it” seemed to be the method of the day. There were marbles in the mouth. Tongue-tripping triads. Physical exertion. But the message throughout was to just get hold of yourself and stop stuttering. They all knew he could do it.
This is a classical K/J knowledge base (I’m who I am, and I stutter), butting heads with another K/J knowledge base (you can stop if you try hard enough). Results? Zippo.
Along came Lionel Logue. He knew that what Bertie knew to be true wasn’t accurate at all. He knew that what Bertie had been carrying from his father and those who had tried to “help” him in the past wasn’t accurate either. He coaxed Bertie out of his K/J and into his Learner/Researcher, showing him that the messages of those kings he carried in his pocket on the face of every shilling could be refused.
See the movie and note how Logue was able to do what others could not. Then ask yourself: Who are you carrying around in your pocket? What’s their message? Who would you be without them there?