“The Little Engine That Could” illustrates the virtue of perseverance. We can all imagine the little engine going up the steep hill and trying to overcome the difficulty. When faced with a challenge or difficulty, I still say this phrase from “The Little Engine That Could.”
While the living of perseverance may require a lot more grit, the ultimate purpose is to do all things in Christ who strengthens us. This attitude elevates the living of this virtue to a supernatural level, enabling us to practice it heroically in extreme moments of suffering and difficulty.
Another important aspect of teaching and living perseverance is knowing that we are not alone and we have the support of others. When people give us meaningful feedback, it lifts our spirit and confidence. This means showing up for little and big moments, and as teachers, it means recognizing what young people have done, not showering them with praise but intentionally recognizing how they have persevered and overcome difficulty. No matter our age, we all need the support of a wider community, so we can go up the steep hills confidently, saying, “I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.”