Perseverance is a long word. It means keeping on until we succeed, sticking to a piece of work till we have done it, in spite of difficulties, failures, and defeats. It is the opposite of getting tired before we finish, being discouraged by difficulties, and giving up in despair.
Perseverance is necessary for success in anything. The proverb, “Well begun is half done”, is only half the truth. It is good to begin well: but if we do not go on well until we finish, we shall never do anything. It is easy to begin a piece of work, but it is not easy to stick at it until it is done. The Bible says, “He that endures to the end, shall be saved.”
A boy begins to work for an examination at school. His subjects are new and interesting. At first, he finds them easy and works well. But after a bit, the novelty wears off. The subjects get more difficult. He loses interest or he gets discouraged. At last, he gives up regular work and wastes his time. When he goes up for examination of course he fails.
A man opens a shop. He is full of hope that his business will succeed, and he works hard. At first, things go well, and he is happy. But he gets lazy and does not take the same interest in his shop. Or he thinks it is now quite safe, and he need not work so hard. He gets slack; his stock runs out, and he does not replace it. He is not so careful to please his customers. Gradually his shop goes down; until at last a smarter man starts a rival shop and spoils his business.
If we want to succeed in anything, we must persevere. This is the lesson of the story of Robert Bruce and the spider. It is also the lesson of the old tale of the race between the slow tortoise and the swift hare. The tortoise by steadily plodding on ultimately won that race.