Dear Ones- Our theme for the month of February is “Perseverance”. It’s not a word you hear used a great deal these days. In our 21st Century world, where we tend toward “instant gratification”, perseverance almost seems like a rather quaint idea. But even if the word isn’t used as much as it once was, I believe we still often see people persevering, if not the description. When learning any sort of new skill, perseverance is vital- a new language, driving, riding a bike, reading. All these require perseverance in order to become proficient.
Someone once described perseverance (and its cousins persistence, tenacity and determination) as “making a way out of no way”. There’s something a bit miraculous about that idea for me. Each of us, at one time or another in our lives, find ourselves confronted by what seem like insurmountable obstacles. Certainly, those obstacles might defeat us, crush our spirits and kill our bodies. That’s always possible. But there is also the possibility that we can overcome them. And if they are to be overcome, it is only by our determination and persistence- our perseverance- that we will be able to do so.
(A word of caution, here….I DO NOT want to imply that if an obstacle cannot be overcome that somehow we’re just not trying hard enough! Sometimes, there really IS “no way”, and we have to accept the fact.)
Finally, I want to point out that one of the reasons our Program Committee chose this theme is to remind us that February is Black History Month and that the struggle for Equal Rights, for “liberty and justice for all” is an ongoing one. It is, truly, one of perseverance.
We know that it is a rare thing for those in positions of power to give that power up easily- even to share it. Gaining equality almost always requires persistence, tenacity, determination, resolve- all synonyms for perseverance!
Rev Martin Luther King, Jr., quoting Unitarian Minister Theodore Parker, famously said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but bends toward justice”. This is certainly true. But it is only in the perseverance of all people of good will that it does so.
May each of us find the strength, the stamina, and the will to persevere.
Wishing you peace and blessings,