When a man is in the right path, he must persevere. I speak of this because there are some persons who are „born tired;” naturally lazy and possessing no self-reliance and no perseverance. But they can cultivate these qualities, as Davy Crockett said:
„This thing remember, when I am dead: Be sure you are right, then go ahead.”
It is this go-aheaditiveness, this determination not to let the „horrors” or the „blues” take possession of you, so as to make you relax your energies in the struggle for independence, which you must cultivate.
How many have almost reached the goal of their ambition, but, losing faith in themselves, have relaxed their energies, and the golden prize has been lost forever.
It is, no doubt, often true, as Shakespeare says:
„There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”
If you hesitate, some bolder hand will stretch out before you and get the prize. Remember the proverb of Solomon: „He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”
Perseverance is sometimes but another word for self-reliance. Many persons naturally look on the dark side of life, and borrow trouble. They are born so. Then they ask for advice, and they will be governed by one wind and blown by another, and cannot rely upon themselves. Until you can get so that you can rely upon yourself, you need not expect to succeed.
I have known men, personally, who have met with pecuniary reverses, and absolutely committed suicide, because they thought they could never overcome their misfortune. But I have known others who have met more serious financial difficulties, and have bridged them over by simple perseverance, aided by a firm belief that they were doing justly, and that Providence would „overcome evil with good.” You will see this illustrated in any sphere of life.
Take two generals; both understand military tactics, both educated at West Point, if you please, both equally gifted; yet one, having this principle of perseverance, and the other lacking it, the former will succeed in his profession, while the latter will fail. One may hear the cry, „the enemy are coming, and they have got cannon.”
„Got cannon?” says the hesitating general.
„Then halt every man.”
He wants time to reflect; his hesitation is his ruin; the enemy passes unmolested, or overwhelms him; while on the other hand, the general of pluck, perseverance and self-reliance, goes into battle with a will, and, amid the clash of arms, the booming of cannon, the shrieks of the wounded, and the moans of the dying, you will see this man persevering, going on, cutting and slashing his way through with unwavering determination, inspiring his soldiers to deeds of fortitude, valor, and triumph.