Thursday, November 17, 2016


....that is what they used to call tuberculosis. The disease, when untreated, caused significant bleeding until the lungs of its victim seemed to have been consumed. Sufferers were essentially eaten from the inside.

Running a program like ours is more like that than I want to imagine or admit to myself. For a few years there is just a lot of coughing and a bit of blood. You get used to it and often think nothing of it. Then as symptoms worsen the coughing and blood is the only thing that you notice.

As amazing as it is, in the nineteenth century many of those wracked by the disease lived on and worked for many years.

They simply persevered.

I believe that there are four major virtues that define character--courage, generosity, honesty, and perseverance. Of these, perseverance is the most important. When courage fails one who perseveres can stand back up and fight on for another round. In a world of selfishness one who perseveres can continue to give. In a filthy, dishonest world one who perseveres can continue to be honest.

The bottom line is that even when life is defined by coughing and spitting blood as long as one gets up every day and fights back one is persevering.

Of all the virtues, perseverance is the hardest to consume.

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