Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tougher Than The Rest

I have spent many of the last 36 hours watching coverage of the celebration of Teddy Kennedy's life. More eloquent people than I have - and will - summarize his legacy and what he has represented to his family and this country over the last 50 years.

The words that have come into my mind as I have read and watched and listened to these tributes are toughness, love, hope and, most powerfully - perseverance.

I couldn't find any song in my library with perseverance in the title...and the one that comes up most on iTunes is by a band called Hatebreed. Well that didn't sound like it fit the moment. Brian Stokes Mitchell sang Impossible Dream at the memorial Friday night and that seemed appropriate...but a bit melodramatic. So, I'll take Bruce and Tougher Than the Rest.

Here's what says:

per⋅se⋅ver⋅ance – noun

1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

1300–50; ME perseveraunce

Doggedness, steadfastness. Perseverance, persistence, tenacity, pertinacity imply resolute and unyielding holding on in following a course of action. Perseverance commonly suggests activity maintained in spite of difficulties or steadfast and long-continued application: Endurance and perseverance combined to win in the end.

which may be used in either a favorable or an unfavorable sense, implies unremitting (and sometimes annoying) perseverance: persistence in a belief; persistence in talking when others wish to study.

with the original meaning of adhesiveness, as of glue, is a dogged and determined holding on. Whether used literally or figuratively it has favorable implications: a bulldog quality of tenacity; the tenacity of one's memory

I aspire to be remembered as having 1/10 the toughness, love, hope and perseverance of Teddy Kennedy.

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