The mind is most powerful when it’s stubborn. The resistance of the mind is like super glue–one drop holds a yacht, keeps a mountain from moving, stops the sea from separating, and creates a frustration so intense in a person witnessing it in another, that it can cause heart attacks, strokes, cancer and who knows what else. Stubbornness isn’t even like cancer; it’s worse. Cancer you can deal with; a stubborn person you can’t. There is no amount of reason one can use, no amount of persuasion, no sum of money or pile of gold, to move a stubborn person who says no to change their mind to say yes.
And stubbornness abounds–with more than enough to go around–in all sectors of life, within all groups, cultures and nations. Can anything good be said of stubbornness? No. The ominous cloud of stubbornness has no silver lining. It’s a formidable tool, a weapon as cold and hard-hitting as the atomic bomb. It destroys lives, families, businesses, cultures, countries. It can turn an entire planet upside down. But it rarely destroys the person whom it houses. It is therefore a great protector. The stubborn person lives in the eye of the storm. No matter where they go, they take their storms with them–mowing down everything and everybody in their paths, while they stay secure.
Stubbornness is an addiction, like any other, but unlike any other, in that it has yet to be recognized as one. Once a person uses it to get what they want, the thrill of success, perverse as it is, makes it nearly impossible to stop. Stubbornness requires no skill. It’s as easy as eating pie. That’s the allure. It’s easy–too easy–for those who don’t give an owl’s hoot for anything or anyone but themselves. It feels good and it works. It gives control where there otherwise would be none, because the stubborn person has yet to develop the skills necessary to make changes. In fact, they don’t like change.
Can a stubborn person become not stubborn? Sure they can, but they won’t. Fear keeps them from it–fear of the unknown, fear of losing their power, fear of losing control, fear of life, fear of living that life, fear of themselves. There are no mirrors where they live, no reflections. They can’t reflect, because they can’t interact. They live in isolation, fearing the world–a painful, hollow, meaningless existence.
Is there hope for the stubborn among us? Sure there is. All it takes is a little courage to step out beyond the safety of the eye of the storm in which they live, and feel the havoc they’ve created, accept responsibility for the ruin they’ve inflicted, and then say yes–to life, to living, to giving, to sharing, to learning.
It’s not unlike the courage needed by the people pleaser who fears rebuke to say no.