Dum Spiro Spero – “While I breathe, I hope.”
Because it’s the motto for South Carolina, it’s on the state seal. As a result, it is part of The Citadel’s hat brass. As I knob I shined at least 3 different pieces of hat brass every day. And every day I saw that motto.
The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics and The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, are both difficult places by design. How they are difficult is different: SCGSSM is academic and The Citadel is military. My time at both was harder because of things going on out of my control outside of school that deeply impacted me. Only a handful of people were aware of it all. I am grateful for them.
During that time, I never lost hope. Maybe it was the motto. Maybe it was I too stubborn to give up. But the motto is one to take to heart. While we have breath, we can still see things change for the better. While we breathe, we can be a part of that change. Don’t let the current situations around you discourage you to the point of giving up or believing there’s nothing you can do. You can, as long as you don’t give up hope.