The celebrated potter, Bernard Palissy, wanted to recover the lost secret of beautiful old glazed china enamelled in rich colours. For months and years on end, he untiringly pursued his experiments. His attempts to find the glaze remained fruitless for a long time. He devoted all he had to his search; and for days and nights together he watched over the kiln he had built, endlessly trying out new processes for preparing and firing his pottery. And not only did no one give him help or encouragement, but his friends and his neighbours called him a madman, and even his wife reproached him for what he was doing.
Several times he had to suspend his experiments for lack of resources, but as soon as he could, he would take them up again with renewed courage. Finally he did not even have the wood he needed to stoke his kiln; so, disregarding the cries and threats of his household, he threw his furniture, to the very last stick, into the fire. And when everything was burnt, he opened the kiln and found it full of the brightly glazed pottery which made him famous and which he had sacrificed so many years to discover.
What was it that his wife and friends lacked that they could not wait for his hour of success to come, without harassing him and making his task more difficult? Simply patience. And waht was the only thing he never lacked, the only thing that never failed him and which enabled him in the end to triumph over all difficulty and scorn? It was precisely perseverance, that is to say, the mightiest force of all.
For nothing in the world can prevail against perseverance. And even the greatest things are always an accumulation of small untiring efforts. Enormous boulders have been completely destroyed, worn by raindrops falling one after another on the same spot. A grain of sand is nothing very powerful, but when many come together, they form a dune and check the ocean.
Perseverance is an active patience, a patience that marches on. Dont you think that your small, repeated efforts could also achieve great things?