Everything that I’ve ever been able to accomplish in skating and in life has come out of adversity and perseverance.” Scott Hamilton
My granddaughter Caroline asks me to pray for her perseverance. She is definitely not an ordinary 19-year old and her request is probably not typical for today’s college students. Just the fact that Caroline asks for this assistance shows that she already possesses part of what she needs now and in the future.
It just so happens that the word perseverance always grabs my attention. It is actually one of my favorites in the English language. I love the spelling, pronunciation and definition.
‘continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition.’ Merriam-Webster
‘steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.’ Dictionary.com
Dictionary.com lists 18 synonyms for perseverance which include spunk, moxie, grit, endurance, stamina, determination, tenacity, dedication, steadfastness, persistence, continuance, constancy, backbone, guts, drive, pluck, purposefulness and doggedness. Wow! More great words! Do any of these words define your behavior and approach to difficulties in life? Should they?
Perseverance describes my hero…my mom. She lived one philosophy throughout her life:
“Get up every single time after you are knocked down by whatever challenge you are facing.” Lucille C. Hackbarth
“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.” Victor Hugo.
My mom’s secret was perseverance. And, she passed on that element to her children simply by the way she lived. There may be no more powerful gift we can shower on children than the example of a life shaped and inspired by the powerful principle of perseverance.
Seeing the two of them exit from the airport building through the sliding door, I get out of my vehicle and quickly push the button to raise the back door to the rear luggage compartment. Caroline and my wife Carol are busy in conversation when my granddaughter finally notices me standing in the parking lot. Quickly she approaches me and gives me a hug. She will be in town for a month during semester break from college. We will have a follow-up talk about perseverance. Oh, yes! I can’t wait!
As I sit back in the driver’s seat I can hear my mom saying to me, “Robert, never ever give up.” And my reply is, “Mom, I never will.” I hope what Lucille Hackbarth passed on to me is what I am sharing with Caroline and all of my grandchildren. The word is …
What word describes your approach? Who taught you by example and what word describes what you learned? Who are you now teaching by your own example? What is the word?
The power of a single word.
All we need to add is action.
What is your word? How is that working?