When I started this thing called community building – almost a year ago now – I was excited. As I started to dig deeper and research how other citizen groups had made changes and moved forward I started to notice a common theme: Don’t Quit. Almost every site, book, workshop, and article I came across assured me that there would be times when I would want to walk away. The key to perseverance, they all agreed, was to know why I am in this. What motivated me in the first place?
They were right. I have wanted to give up. I have questioned what we’re doing, and why we have to fight so hard to do things that are wanted and needed.
I don’t know where we are in this story, but I am deeply hoping we’re at the climax, headed to the denouement. Lately, I’ve been revisiting my why frequently. My why is simply “Because I feel change is possible with persistence.”
To revive my spirits, I keep revisiting this poem entitled “Don’t Quit” by an Anonymous author, and I hope it inspires you as well:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.