The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines perseverance as the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

If there was a picture of perseverance it would be of my guest, this week on many of my stations, Geri Jewell
As you too will learn about Geri, her sheer perseverance made her who she is.
Perseverance is also a theme I discuss often in the show because it is one of the human qualities that is of the utmost importance. Some of my favorite quotes of all time are about this topic and range from some of the most admirable people to grace our planet. From Winston Churchill to Abraham Lincoln and from Benjamin Franklin to Nelson Mandela, they all know that in almost all cases perseverance trumps everything when it comes to achievement and overall satisfaction. Just Google “perseverance quotes” and you will be overloaded with inspirational gems.

What makes this quality of such value to all is that without it being part of our human make-up we literally would not exist. It is in us at the deepest cellular level from the beginning of time. It is the quality that allowed us to hunt and gather even before we could make weapons or tools. In fact, persistence hunting was a technique where early humans followed their prey until the prey was exhausted but their human counterpart had the perseverance to continue and caught them while they slept.

But maybe because it is so deep within us, and not just at the surface, we too often give up before we draw on all its power. I remember feeling so down about the struggles it took to launch Between the Lines that I just wanted to throw in the towel. I could not find the perseverance within me that I knew was there but just would not manifest itself. If it was not for my wife, whose perseverance and faith was literally in arms reach, who knows?  

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
-Thomas Edison
Even if you are alone, and have to fight the daily good fight without someone in your corner, there is always a way to reach deep down and find that perseverance gene within. During the great depression many people felt so desperate and hopeless that they were sure they could not go on any longer. President Roosevelt was aware of this situation and knew he had to assure the nation that through our persistence we would overcome the situation. In one of his famous fireside chats he uttered these words:

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. 
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
I often question why we sometimes have to get to the end of our rope before it kicks in. I want it to be easier. Who, after all, wants to struggle in the first place? Now, if I had that answer you’d be reading quotes about me. But I do know how fragile that perseverance gene is and how difficult it is to locate sometimes. However, as Winston Churchill so famously stated: “Never, never, never give in!” 


Feel free to leave a comment by clicking on “comment” just below this post.

14 thoughts on “Perseverance

  1. When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Perhaps this is why I admire and envy the acrobats in Cirque du Soleil's Mystere, especially the bungy chord artists.
    I am filling in one of my developmental gaps with a back flip in 2014 — just got the okay from my neck surgeon today. I will be 66 years old!
    Through the Mortimer stories I hope to help children discover ways they can fill those survival gaps as they live them. The next story will be “Mortimer Finds Home is Where Your Heart Sings” a lesson he finally gets from a singing turtle with a wounded shell.


  2. it is intereating that perseveration is a developmental stage where children over persevere. It is usually succeeded by flexible thinking to a lesser or greater extent. In adults it is best when we persevere to a goal without perseverating in one method to reach that goal.


  3. Glad to hear you feeling better. I will be tweeting and sending out on social networks the great tale of Mortimer Loses a Friend” by Diana Deregnier. This is a wonderful children's book and an important one!


  4. Thank you so much Dear Barry Kibrick! The qualities you present us in your interviews of truly principled individuals will come out in Mortimer's stories. I find some gem in each that needs to be shared with children, who live by the example we set for them.

    I certainly could not have persevered in any healthy way by the immediate role models in my childhood of severe abuse neglect and abandonment at home and in foster homes. Only through examples of integrity and compassion could I have emerged as I have.


  5. Perseverance is linked to the Survival of the Fittest theory.
    Tenacity and not giving up are keys to survival whether in the jungles of Africa or LA. And Barry I am proving my perseverance gene by getting this “comment” thing down!
    (Pardon the IN joke.)


  6. I loved the show with Geri last night! So sad she was taken advantage of….show biz is full of crooks….

    I can't wait to show this episode to our daughter who has been recovering from a stroke and coma for the last 3 years, it's so inspirational.

    Thanks Barry, you did it again!


  7. I was struck by how important the observation on “perseverance” and gaps in development can stimulate other abilities… I would love to see the whole interview somehow…I Will Be getting Geri Jewell's book ASAP.

    Your show unfortunately has limited distribution….can you work with the power that be to allow Youtube or another method to be used that is nearly FREE as there are so many individuals with limited income….and their families who need to see this message of the entire interview.

    I look back at my life and see many obstacles and opportunities. I too have CP and a hearing loss. Both diagnosed much later than they should have. I also have ADD and a Mental Health issue. I took every opportunity and used connections both being tenacious and congenial to reach a level of a job that was quite remarkable considering where I was at age 4 with undiagnosed near deafness. .

    Bob Bourke Mesa, AZ


  8. Dear Bob: We are currently only in Tucson, Arizona. If you write your PBS station at: and tell them how much you'd like to see our show because you read our blog they may add it to their schedule. Here's a link to the Demo you can include in the e-mail. It is where I also post all our shows. The Geri Jewell one will be there shortly. Take care, Barry


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