Unwearied and ceaseless effort is the price that must be paid for turning faith into a rich infallible experience.
-Mahatma Gandhi, 1936 (www.beliefnet.com)
We tend to focus on the great accomplishments of great leaders. We know of their struggles and sufferings, but what we remember most are their accomplishments. History has a way of focusing on the end result, and not always on the journey. Yet great leaders also endured great suffering. They persisted in the face of great odds; odds that a weaker human being would have concluded as insurmountable. So what kept them going? In the case of Gandhi, it was his incredible faith in humanity – that people will eventually gravitate toward good, rather than evil. More important, he was always focused on the journey; those little steps and the giant steps that would lead him to his destination of freeing India. But the journey was equally important – sometimes more important than the destination. He suffered a great deal in private and public when his dreams died or got derailed, but he persisted. I suppose another word for that is faith – the ability to perservere against all odds, when even reasonable people declare it time to quit – faith and the faithful persevere.