The Stubborn Way of Life

Stephanie - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“You’re not getting the points back on the test and that’s final!” screamed my math teacher. I held my ground. This wasn’t the first time I had argued for points on a test, which was evident in my thought provoking arguments. My teacher’s face was read with fury, his eyes were dead and tired, and his mind was fatigued. I could tell he was weakening. It took only two weeks of powerful arguments to win eight points back on my math test. People congratulated me on what they politely referred to as “persistence.” But they all knew the real reason: my stubbornness.

I’m the type of person that would rather be grounded for months or even years than swallow my pride. I would rather fight someone who challenged me than take the high road and walk away. And it all leads back to my stubbornness. Now teachers and parents have been preaching for years how wrong and immoral stubbornness is. I should know; I’ve heard it countless times. But the truth is they are wrong. I believe that stubbornness, when used correctly, is one of the best qualities to have.

If anyone was to ask a teacher or other adult to describe me they would simply role their eyes and mutter “stubborn.” I have the curse of thinking that my opinions are always the right ones. We as people have been raised believing we’re right. Our passion drives us to our relentless decisions. Passion and stubbornness make a deadly combination, but it’s that ruthless pair that make history. No one wants to fade into the background of unknown and washed out leader. We all want to be remembered for something. And it’s the stubborn people that have made and changed history.

Imagine the world today if people hadn’t been too stubborn to give up. What if Martin Luther King Jr. had said, “I’m only one person. I can’t abolish segregation?” We would be stuck in the racist world of the 1960’s. What would have happened if the Greeks and told the Turks, “Come on in and plunder our land. We would lose fighting to you anyway?” Greek history and inventions as we know it would not have survived. And what if Americans in the 1770’s said, “Let’s keep living this way under the British. Freedom is overrated anyway?” America today wouldn’t even exist! Wars and battles don’t need to be won on raw materials and troop numbers. The only thing that truly matters is how stubborn the people are to lose.

Virtues may stand saying stubbornness is dishonorable, but history stands saying the contrary. I know that I’ve most likely angered plenty of people because I refuse to give up, but I am honored to have the same quality as Martin Luther King Jr. and other so called rebels. Plus, winning back points on tests just happens to give me high grades. I believe in standing up for what you believe in. I believe in stubbornness.