Keep Going 1
My wife and I are fans of NCIS, a long running series on CBS that chronicles the exploits of a team of government agents. In addition to a plot each week where they work to catch the bad guys, the scripts include stories about the personal lives of the characters.

Often the stories include elements that show the interactions between the team members. In addition, there are often moments in the stories that can be instructive and motivational.

Last week’s episode was based upon a young man who was on a ledge with plans to commit suicide because he felt responsible for his father’s death. The episode largely focused on a young medical examiner trying to convince the man to not jump to his death.

As the young medical examiner talked to the young man, he quoted things that his mentor had said to him over time. One of the stories he related was based on a comment that his mentor had made to him, “When you are going through hell, keep going.”

This reminded me of a poem made popular in recent years by the Brian Tracy, the motivational speaker and author. He used to give a speech where he quoted the poem, “Carry On.”

The poem was written by Robert William Service. Here are the words:

It’s easy to fight when everything’s right,
And you’re mad with the thrill and the glory;
It’s easy to cheer when victory’s near,
And wallow in fields that are gory.
It’s a different song when everything’s wrong,
When you’re feeling infernally mortal;
When it’s ten against one, and hope there is none,
Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:

Carry on! Carry on!
There isn’t much punch in your blow.
You’re glaring and staring and hitting out blind;
You’re muddy and bloody, but never you mind.
Carry on! Carry on!
You haven’t the ghost of a show.
It’s looking like death, but while you’ve a breath,
Carry on, my son! Carry on!

And so in the strife of the battle of life
It’s easy to fight when you’re winning;
It’s easy to slave, and starve and be brave,
When the dawn of success is beginning.
But the man who can meet despair and defeat
With a cheer, there’s the man of God’s choosing;
The man who can fight to Heaven’s own height
Is the man who can fight when he’s losing.

Carry on! Carry on!
Things never were looming so black.
But show that you haven’t a cowardly streak,
And though you’re unlucky you never are weak.
Carry on! Carry on!
Brace up for another attack.
It’s looking like hell, but – you never can tell:
Carry on, old man! Carry on!

There are some who drift out in the deserts of doubt,
And some who in brutishness wallow;
There are others, I know, who in piety go
Because of a Heaven to follow.
But to labor with zest, and to give of your best,
For the sweetness and joy of the giving;
To help folks along with a hand and a song;
Why, there’s the real sunshine of living.

Carry on! Carry on!
Fight the good fight and true;
Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;
There’s big work to do, and that’s why you are here.
Carry on! Carry on!
Let the world be the better for you;
And at last when you die, let this be your cry:
Carry on, my soul! Carry on!

Those are good words for all of us to live by. They are words that are personified in the lives of great people in history. Take Winston Churchill for example.

In a six-month period during World War 2, the Nazi Germans made hundreds of major bombing raids on England. They dropped more than 100 tons of high explosives on 16 British cities. London, was attacked 71 times and bombed by the Luftwaffe for 57 consecutive nights. It was just a few months later, October 1941, that Churchill spoke to students at a school he had attended as a boy. Part of his speech was simple but profound: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Churchill knew what to do in the face of adversity for him and his country.

Everyone goes through difficult times. Often these times test us far beyond what we think we can bear. In fact, it is only when we go through those times that we start to understand that we have the ability to deal with more than we thought we could. I hope that the thoughts in this Insight article help you if you are going through difficult times now or in the future.