Living things including plants and trees need to struggle for their survival. They have to manage their daily activities for growth. They have to make necessary changes and adapt to the surroundings. For they all know that life without effort would mean a living dead.
Nowadays, we all are living in an age of modernity in history. We are seeing one invention after another and reaping the benefits of digital electronics. The world has become a global village for some time. These advancements in science and technology have been achieved with no ease but through hard work and perseverance.
Human’s great effort in olden days has resulted in today’s world heritage sites_ the Pyramids in Egypt , the Great Wall of China , and the Pagodas of Bagan in Myanmar _ to name just a few.
Even in the animal’s world, there is a great display of effort and persistence. In salmon run, salmon swim from the oceans to the upper reaches of the rivers risking their lives to return to their spawning places. Across the world, the migratory birds fly thousands of miles between wintering and breeding grounds.
According to Webster’s Third New International Unabridged Dictionary, perseverance is defined as the condition or power of persevering : persistence in the pursuit of objectives or prosecution of any project : steadfastness. It is a little more than effort or diligence. It means sustained effort through determination to overcome physical and mental obstacles. It embodies motivation from within or without.
While I am writing this article, a lesson I learnt in Grade 5 comes to my mind. It is a fable called ‘ Ma Pu Kywe and A Little Snail’. In it, Ma Pu Kywe was not good at her studies. Most of the students in her class were cleverer than her. One day, the teacher told the students that everyone in the class had to learn a long essay by heart and the one who could recite it flawlessly the following day would be rewarded. Ma Pu Kywe wanted to win that prize. When arrived home, she began committing that long essay to her memory. But she did not succeed in doing so. Again she kept trying but to no avail. Now she was in the doldrums. She stopped studying and gazed outside through a window. Then she saw a little snail trying to climb a pole of her fence. In her opinion, the snail could not reach its destination_ the top of the pole. She mocked the snail for its slow pace. After some time, when she looked again at the snail, to her amazement, the snail was atop the pole of the fence! She got motivated by the snail’s success. It dawned upon her that persistent trying is essential even though progress is made at a snail’s pace. She resumed her studying. And she was duly rewarded the coveted prize the following day. No wonder that Ma Pu Kywe stood first in her exams from that day onwards.
According to the Scottish legend, King Robert, the Bruce of Scotland ( 1274-1329 AD ), had to hide in a cave after being defeated at a battle on one occasion. Having spent three months in a hideout in the cave, he felt dejected and was at his wit’s end. At that time, he happened to watch a spider weaving a web. The spider tried time and again but did not succeed in making a web. But it never gave up and managed to do the spider’s web at last. The Bruce King of Scots , inspired by the web-making spider, was determined to retry the fight and told his men: If you don’t succeed at first, try , try and try again. Eventually King Robert and his army were able to defeat the English at the Battle of Bannockburn.
Verily, everyone has made a real effort at least once in their lifetime. But we must make sure that our endeavour be like a husk fire and not like a straw fire. A straw fire burns with a big flame but does not last longer whereas a husk fire burns with imperceptible flame and lasts even longer. Though we work hard with great determination , when face with failure and setback one after another, we tend to lose self-confidence and take obstacles as insurmountable. We feel burnout and want to do nothing. This is a make-or-break situation for all of us. We must motivate ourselves and turn everything around with resilience and perseverance.
Recently, Leicester City F.C have won the English Premier League title for 2015-2016 season with two games to spare. It is for the first time in their club’s 132-year history to win the top-flight silverware. Their success is hailed by the world’s media as one of the greatest achievements in sporting history. Though regarded by many as minnows or underdogs, their diligence, team spirit and steadfastness are of the top quality and beyond telling.
In our country, Myanmar, the new government is using its utmost exertions to make a peaceful and developed nation in the world. There are hindrances and hurdles in plenty to overcome in marching towards democratization. The integrity and perseverance of all of its people will be the golden key to Myanmar’s success. In my ears, the words spoken by Nelson Mandela are still echoing: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done’.