The virtue of Courage


“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

Persistence is something we all know something about. Lockdown and isolation require all of us to persevere in ways we did not think possible. Last year we would never have believed that we could make the sacrifices we have been making. How interesting is that? We do not know how resilient we are until we are tested.

Much ado about something

The time we spend on an activity alone does not factor in perseverance. Spending hours reading your favourite book or binge-watching a popular series is not perseverance. Why? You are doing this for enjoyment. The defining factor for perseverance is continual goal-directed behaviour despite hindrances, complications and dissuasion. It is just a boring academic way of saying that if you keep trying at something, even when you freaking hate it; you are persevering. Much like you and your family are doing right now with this lockdown and all its rules.

We can

It is funny, I would like to say ironic, that I am struggling to persevere through this article. It is one of those strengths which is better experienced than explained. I am finding it difficult to write anything that may inspire you. I feel in my heart that at this moment you are already using this strength to its maximum. We all are. This experience is unique for everyone, but it requires sacrifice and persistence. However, after lockdown is over, the world is still changed forever. Our need for persistence is far from over, so it is lucky that we all are proving ourselves rather adept at this strength.

out of the mouths of babes

I would like to share my favourite story of my baby girl Sofia. It is a story I often reflect on when I am facing my own arduous task and wish to give up. It always gives me the courage to carry on. Sofia suffers from birth, with chronic constipation that causes her tummy an impressive deal of pain. The details are not important, but what is relevant is that this condition often causes her tummy to balloon, making climbing or sliding like a normal little girl difficult.

On one bad day, Sofia was trying to climb up on a plastic slide her father bought her for her second birthday. As these toddler toys are, the steps were not very steep or far apart which makes it difficult for her to climb up with her tummy. Two steps up, then she would fall off, but she kept on trying. She knew the power of persistence. It broke my heart to see her try so hard for so long to do something that other children do not find difficult at all. Eventually, she managed all the way to the top and with a glee reserved only for toddlers, she screeched, “Yay! I win!”.

celebrate small victories

I remember knowing then and I still do, “yes you win my baby. You won when others would have given up. Good for you, Sofia, for celebrating yourself and your perseverance”. I hope this is something you will do too when you face your next obstacle. Try and try again. Try unorthodox methods or try new advice, but when you succeed, and you will, even in the slightest, I hope you will yell, “Yay I win!”.

a tale of pooh

In the tales of Winnie the Pooh, Pooh has a similar test of perseverance when he has to climb several branches only to fall all the way to the bottom and land in a gorse bush. He next tries a balloon which pops and then another balloon. It does not deter Pooh, which is a credit to his perseverance.  So what tree are you climbing?

I wish you luck. 


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