“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”



R. S. is my adopted Grandfather. He married my maternal grandmother after my Mother’s biological father died in an Air Force airplane accident. R. S. graduated from Stanford with an engineering degree while also running track. He was in the Air Force and spent time in real estate development before retiring. He then became the mayor of Indian Wells for two terms, and now remains very active by sitting on several boards, such as the Living Desert: Indian Wells’ zoo. R. S. is part Cherokee. His wife and my Grandmother is a Reverend that remains very active as well.



“I understand an important part of Folklore is proverbs. This one is near and dear to my heart:

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

I remember so well how JFK used to say this at times. In my mind, this embodies not only my life but most that grew up with us. During the Depression, this proverb described all of us. We had no other choice… we had to get going!”


It’s interesting that this proverb gets attributed to John F. Kennedy most prominently. Clearly, this quote holds a special importance to anyone that faces a struggle. While the quote is antique, it is certainly not out of style, as it is very appropriate and relevant in today’s times, just like every other era anyone has ever experienced hardship in. This proverb, however, does seem to be the theme of the Great Depression, which is interesting that my Grandfather mentions it so quickly.