The Road to Perseverance

Sarah Holsman May 2016

- What Perseverance Means -

Perseverance is continuously fighting through tough times, big or small, and not being afraid to fail then find the courage to try again.

- Eleanor Roosevelt & Jackie Robinson - (Compare & Contrast)

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- Walt Disney (Description) -

Despite all of the triumphs Walt Disney had throughout his life, there were also several adversities. Walt grew up in a very strict household where his father didn't believe in rewarding his kids with children's toys. His father had often used a belt to discipline his children. When Walt was in his high school years, he had a lack of education because his family was constantly on the move and he had to work and support his family. Walt was not always complacent with his education. He pushed through anyway and earned a spot in an art class at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where he learned all of his drawing skills. Another adversity Walt had to overcome was that he was a strong smoker. He had hated this habit in others, though he was a heavy smoker himself. After some time, Walt had developed lung cancer, which he tried to overcome by getting surgery. Walt had been recovering but later had a relapse and passed away. Those are just a few of his adversities that his triumphs overpower.

Walt posing with his big hits, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

- Jackie Robinson (Cause & Effect) -

Jackie Robinson was an African-American baseball player when there were many racial barriers present and black and white people were unequal. He played in the "Negro League" until he eventually made it into the major leagues. Because of this, Jackie had to overcome many adversities. Because Jackie was on an MLB team when races were so unequal, he had received so many taunts and threats about being black that he was forced to muster enough strength to not fight back. Also, Jackie was both mentally and physically attacked by audiences in games, opponents, and even his own team members. He had to sit alone on buses and in dugouts. Another adversity that he had to defeat was the fact that not many people believed in him. It was hard for him knowing that only a few people had the faith that he could break the racial barriers. In addition to those adversities, he had many triumphs. One of them was that he got to sign a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Later, he also got to play on the Montreal Royals team. It was all because the man Branch Rickey. His biggest triumph was that he had broken the racial barrier in Major League Baseball. He was the first black man to play on a MLB team. Jackie Robinson was a very noble man from that day on. When he retired from baseball, Jackie spoke out against all racial injustice.

Jackie Robinson (left, on the Montreal Royals) made his first home run, shaking hands with George Shuba (right, an outfielder on Montreal Royals).

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- Maury Wills (Problem & Solution) -

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- Nadja Salerno-Sonneberg (Sequence) -

Famous violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonneberg had to overcome many adversities to get to her major triumphs in life. First, the music she was playing got too hard and the people at Julliard lowered her self-esteem so she simply gave up. She kept attending her private teacher's classes, but without her violin. Eventually, the teacher had had enough of it and eloquently told her that she was going to kick Nadja out if she didn't bring her violin to the next lesson. That pushed Nadja to start playing again and even sign up for a competition. When she had gotten home, she set her apartment on fire while making dinner. Everything was destroyed except for her violin, her cat, and her phone. She got the call that she had made it past the auditions. Next, she had to choose two songs to play; one for the semi-finals and one for the finals. She chose her stronger piece to play for the semi-finals because she figured she wouldn't even make it to finals if she played the weaker one. When she was standing in front of the judges, she quickly changed her mind and announced that she was going to play Prokofiev, her weaker piece. She had no slips and the technique was perfect. It was the best she'd ever played the song. When she got home, she got the call that she had made it past semi-finals and then found out her moped had blown up, getting her evicted. She begged her landlord to let her stay until the competition was over and he agreed. Finally, she had been ready to perform at the finals. After she and the others played for the judges, they announced who had won. It was Nadja. She had won three thousand dollars, solos at multiple theaters, and the chance to play with several different orchestras. She is now an international professional violinist and has toured all over the world.

Nadja with her violin.

- Lessons Learned From Perseverance -

No matter what, it is important to never give up. Through all of the downs in life, there will always be brighter days if one perseveres. Perseverance gives one strength, courage, and bravery and can do indescribably amazing things. If one doesn't persevere through anything, they will get nowhere. Perseverance gives one the craving to create and reach vague goals and the desire to possess a higher purpose in life. If someone surrounds themselves with people who don't reach their target, they won't want to either. When one perseveres, they're taking on many responsibilities. If someone listens to people that discourages others, they will begin to lack the persistence and motivation needed to persevere. Despite the many adversities standing in the way, it is critical to persevere.


Something we can learn from the perseverance of others to help us overcome our own adversities is that the successful people never give up. They always fight through to become successful. Everyone who is successful has the motivation to persevere. It is always crucial to persevere throughout life no matter what is standing in the way.