Margaret J. Wheatley is an internationally acclaimed writer, speaker, and teacher on how we can organize our work and sustain our relationships as we journey through this chaotic time (see her website, www.MargaretWheatley.com).
We all know individuals who have an intense commitment to what they are doing and seem to be able to sustain this steadfastness even in the face of formidable obstacles and setbacks. How do they do it? In this feisty and fascinating paperback, Wheatley explores the virtue of perseverance, which in Latin means "one who sees through to the end" and "one who doesn't yield." We need this quality of doggedness and determination for our daily labors and for the Great Work of saving the planet — in deep trouble thanks to our irresponsible behavior and short-sightedness. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes has written:
"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely."
Wheatley calls us to do the right thing, to take a stand for what we believe in, and to become spiritual warriors. As we become more and more steadfast in our pursuit of excellence, we are sure to face praise and blame, failure, fear, aggression, jealousy, boredom, laziness, and guilt. Wheatley acknowledges that these obstacles may be spiritual teachers that help us to reframe our goals or head in new directions. Perseverance is strengthened and emboldened by choice, clarity, experiments, opening to the world, faith, patience, joy, and play. Wheatley offers this thought-provoking piece of advice under the umbrella of "edge walking:"
"Security is not what creates life. Safety, safe havens, guarantees of security — none of these give life its capacities. Newness, creativity, imagination — these live on the edge."
We recommend this inspiring book to all those who feel they are stuck or too scared to keep on keeping on during such difficult times. The essays in Perseverance are short, and Wheatley has found plenty of excellent quotations to spice up the proceedings.