I have some virtues that I live my life by every day. Patience and Persistence are two strengths that I need to get through my day. Courage has to come first. “Courage is that quality of mind which enables us to encounter difficulties with firmness and without fear”. When I speak to kids at school about Bullying and treating everyone the same despite being different, courage comes to the surface. I ask the kids what does courage mean and lots of hands go up. The answer I get most often is “to become strong”. To have courage you have to become stronger. I recently attended a class on Bullying at our Media center and the number one person receiving bullying is someone that is disabled. I am differently abled due to polio and I want to let children see that because of my limitations I have become stronger.
I am a polio survivor from 1948 when the epidemic was in full force. 250,00 children and adults were stricken each year before the vaccine became available in 1953 by Dr. Jonas Salk. Patience and persistence have made me the person I am today. Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken in 1921. He served as our President from 1933-45. Four terms he served his country. His wife encouraged him to continue with his political life. Eleanor said of her husband, “Franklins’ illness (Polio)…..gave him strength and courage he had not had before. He had to think out fundamentals of living and learn the greatest of all lessons. Infinite patience and never ending persistence“. I have also had to put into place all the patience and persistence to have made me the person I am today. As I strap on my left long leg brace everyday, I put all the patience together that I can to be persistent to make my day the best that it can be. As FRD would strap on two long leg braces, I am sure he needed all the patience and persistence that he could put together.
As we enter into Holy week we need to remember that Jesus came into our lives to offer forgiveness and newness of life. He can be gentle and tender and brought to tears in grief and frustration. God, his father, is endlessly patient and persistent. He is not content to leave us alone. We should be thankful that he has patience and persistence to keep guiding us. We should be grateful that he continues his work with us through his son, Jesus. May you each have a Blessed Easter with your family and friends knowing that Jesus will continue working in your life if you will let him.