We associate stubbornness with mules, donkeys, fathers, mothers, bosses and other rusty nuts that won’t break loose.  When stubborn bolts will not give, we turn to penetrating oil or “looseners.”  Sometimes we resort to a strong, gripping pipe wrench and wind up twisting the bolt in two.  If feasible we cut the bolt with a hack saw.  After that we can only resort to a cutting torch which forces us to find a skilled person.  Somewhere along the trajectory from initial confidence of success to outright despair in failure, we hit the son-of-a-bitch with a sledge hammer — most likely damaging the greater apparatus we are trying to repair.

This is the material dimension.  The other dimension is that of human character traits where the issue involves something else like money, choosing a vacation venue, putting off filling an emptying gas tank, not stopping for directions, and clear up to issues related to divorce, going to war, appeasement, political fanaticism, even using the car tonight et cetera.

Before I go on I must exclude Tortoise from any mention under this topic. You see, the tortoise, because he is slow and often inert, may seem to be stubborn.  Further, due to constitutional vulnerability, he or she is a peacemaker, a “go along kind of creature.”  Tortoises are persistent and persevering as I have often said; steadfast, too, but steadfastness ranks with the best of virtues.  True, tortoises like most animals resist change and find security in resisting change.

We superior humans have similar needs.  Stubbornness in its more benign aspect begins in Missouri where people expect to be convinced of needful change.  That’s just healthy and mere skepticism.I My experience has been that  often those most likely to take up a simple, mindless solution are also the most stubborn in their adherence to dogma.

Now if,  a child or a spouse has experienced a lot of change, even upheaval in job turmoil, she’s likely to shy away from more of it, particularly in opposition to yet another hare-brained scheme.  If a couple experiences the turmoil together, they will share a obstinate stubbornness to any change.

I know of no bolt loosener that will work on a stubborn human being.  Unfortunately when the stubborn get their way, it is only crisis that opens their minds, even if then.  The stubborn also have a felicity for scapegoating and blaming their folly on someone or something else.  Eventually battle royale breaks out.  The only penetrating I know is patience, love and understanding.

David Milliken


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About thet7200

David Milliken has been a life-long, incurable English Major currently serving as Marketing VP for and, a provider of registered agents, incorporation services and LLC's and trademarks. Prior to that he was a professional chamber of commerce executive for chambers in Ohio, New York and Kansas. Other work includes community college PR, brick sales and community/economic development He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Idaho State University(M.A.) He attended Kansas State University for more English studies. He has not been a butcher, baker nor candlestick maker, but he has taught English and run for political office. David Milliken is an author aspiring to become a published one.

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