By AJ Rasmussen Perseverance is being faced with a trial, or the testing by fire, and coming out the other end a stronger and better person because of it.
I could count a number of times when I have persevered, yet in the heat of the moment felt I’d not make it. Looking back I see I had. One specific, and most recent trial in which I persevered was a targeted assault on myself by the skinheads while in Clallam Bay. I Wound up in segregation for 59 days, first time to segregation in my more than 12 years total incarceration. Many days, as I felt the life being sucked out of me, I wasn’t sure I’d make it until I finally left and seen I had indeed persevered. Each opportunity to persevere seems to strengthen you for future such trials.
I can’t recall a time where I’ve ‘quit’. Growing up in a single parent home, and no father-figure so to speak, I’ve strove to not quit’, not to give up, and to follow through on things I say I’ll do, unlike that of my farther. I do at times contemplate whether I gave up or ‘quit’ the battle that is life post-prison, and as a registered sex offender. It was four years of deepening depression leading to my second offense which gave me life in prison. Did I ‘quit’ subconsciously?
Two people come to mind when I think of individuals who have persevered in life. Helen Keller being one, Nelson Mandella the other. I’d also like to include my mother who persevered many hard years raising two boys on her own with very little help, and then persevered the trials my actions have led her and all my family and friends through. That form of perseverance I’d give the name Unconditional Love.