The beginning of the Letter of James says this today:
Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (JAS 1:1-2)
These are days when it seems that our perseverance is being tested in many ways. Meg Wheatley, who wrote a book of that title, speaks of a persevering person as “one who sees through to the end,” or “one who does not yield.” It includes notions of maintaining our activity in spite of difficulties and is synonymous with tenacity, steadfastness, persistence, doggedness…My favorite notion in Wheatley’s introductory remarks is this: In Chinese, the character for perseverance is often the same as the need for patience.
On a mundane level – which is where most of us live all the time – I see perseverance as simply putting one foot in front of the other to “keep on keeping on.” But here is the key to success, I think. We cannot do it alone. Regardless of how strong we think we are or how capable of achieving success on our own, we need each other in order to survive. Once we conquer resistance to that reality, we are at least half-way there.