We keep hearing that the Corona crisis has plunged us into an unprecedented period of adversity. In truth, the human race has encountered adversity before. Repeatedly.  The challenges of adversity have been faced by every generation.  Some have dealt with war and famine, others with pervasive economic disarray. For some, the fight for social justice has set them on a difficult path, full of obstacles and frustrations.

Back in the 1800s, a talented American writer named John Greenleaf Whittier, joined the charge to campaign against slavery, an issue so divisive it sparked a bitter civil war in his nation.  Whittier and his fellow abolitionists persisted in the face of adversity.  Like today’s Corona- addled community, they did not give up.  They maintained a hopeful vision for a better world and took active steps to create one.  During his lifetime, Whittier endured a series of economic recessions that spanned 1822-1835 and the Russian Flu pandemic of 1889. In an inspired moment, Whittier penned a poem entitled Don’t Quit, offering a timeless message for all of us facing difficulties

When things go wrong as they sometimes will, When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about 
When he might have won had he stuck it out; 
Don't give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out— 
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, 
And you never can tell just how close you are, 
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit— 
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Students struggling with the challenge of reintegrating back into the school routine would do well to remember that success is failure turned inside out…so please, don’t quit!