Monday, November 19, 2012


Hanging On, Jamestown, NC

Early morning temperatures this Thanksgiving week hover around the freezing mark heralding the onset of winter. Free falling leaves have been spiraling down for weeks as the life sustaining sap is withdrawn back into the core of the trees. All of nature is bracing for the fallow season of freezing weather and cold north winds. And yet, as I gazed up into the naked branches of a clump birch this morning, there are still a handful of leaves that tenaciously cling to the branches. These spirits of the forest know that the race is won by those who strive in the face of adversity; those who spend themselves in a worthy cause; those who exert the greatest enthusiasm; those who know the triumph of high achievement and at least if they fail, know that if they have given life their best shot they will never be with those timid souls who will never know neither victory or defeat. They’re hanging in there and hanging on!

I love the quotation from Calvin Coolidge that I kept with me all through my professional business career. Our 30th president stated that “Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”. It’s been said that skid row is full of talented, educated, intellectuals who lacked the prime asset of perseverance. Persistence is a great equalizer when it is applied with more grit and determination than your competitor or oppressor. Don’t give up when you have something left to give. Nothing is really finished until you quit trying. Jimmy Valvano said it best during his 1993 ESPY speech as he fought the good fight against cancer when he left us with the admonition, “Don’t give up…Don’t ever give up”!

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