Patience and Perseverance
“Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
- Kurt Vonnegut, author (1922 - 2007)
My dad walked the Appalachian Trail. Yep, the whole thing from Georgia to Maine, all 2,175 miles of it. Over the course of months he battled the elements, the brutal terrain, and his own mind and body. And with every battle waged, slowly but surely he conquered each hurdle placed before him. He did this not by racing to the end, not by expectations of immediate gratification, but by simply putting one foot in front of the other and calmly forging ahead with patience and perseverance.
Currently, our nation is suffering from a bad case of post-traumatic stress disorder and pervasive gloom. The markets are reactionary, with every minute bit of news and every tidbit of economic analysis resulting in a massive Wall Street swing which is bound to leave many feeling a little queasy.
At this point in the game I am beginning to believe that the one thing hurting our recovery more than anything else is our constant low-level doom-and-gloom mentality that is a direct result of the collective “us” not getting what we want: immediate, positive results.
Forever the optimists, Americans have always been resilient and adaptable. But somehow, in this quagmire of economic distress, we immaturely believed that recovery would be simple—that people would go back to work, save their homes and businesses, and we could pretend this never happened. Unfortunately, life isn’t that simple, and the childish “V”-shaped recovery that we all latched onto was a naïve premise that could never be realized.
What this recovery needs, in order to build businesses back to the revenue-generating machines of the past, is that constant quiet patience and persistence my dad showed every mile he walked deeper into the trail. With bloodied and blistered feet, rain pouring down and mountains to climb, were there moments when he wanted to give up? I am certain there were. But when he arrived at the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine, he could look down across the landscape with pride and say to himself, “I did it.”