There are many reasons to like perseverance. It’s the kind of virtue that lends itself to motivational posters, because there is an intuitive understanding that things that are worth doing are often difficult. And it doesn’t seem necessary to defend the idea that we should do things worth doing.
I will begin by defining perseverance as the quality by which individuals are able to stick to goals and courses of action in the midst of adversity. I believe that endurance is a form of perseverance, in as much as exhaustion is a form of adversity. (Read: not all adversity is external.) My recent struggles to keep up the devotions I want to keep up are, by this definition, a failure of perseverance.
But, the fact that I have recently failed in perseverance doesn’t mean I cherish it any less. Perhaps I see even more the value of it.
For me, I think I like perseverance because, like vision, it seems to be one of the virtues which lend themselves to personal development, to change. And, right now, my pagan path is about change and personal development.
Perseverance, I believe, shares another quality with vision, and that is this: without wisdom, perseverance isn’t a virtue. Wisdom, I believe, is the difference between virtuous perseverance and indefensible thick-headedness. perseverance, in other words, is a virtue when the action one is persevering in is regularly examined and found to be the best course of action.
Moving forward, if I don’t complete the dedicant’s path it won’t be due to a lack of desire, wisdom or vision. It will be a failure of perseverance, and that fact alone should indicate perseverance’s importance.
The above is a first draft of my attempt to understand perseverence as a virtue. It reflects my understanding of vision before I spend time researching it as a specifically pagan virtue and will eventually inform the essay I submit as part of my Dedicant’s Path.