WOW Word-Of-the-Week #443: Stubborn

January 31, 2013 by  

Stubbornrefusing to give up; persistent.

Are there ever times that you are stubborn? Do you tend to be persistent and not give up when you want something? Have you ever wondered where that trait comes from?

Last Sunday US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke at USD. John Wilkens from the UT wrote, “Determined, resilient, strong-willed – that’s how people often characterize Sonia who grew up poor in a Bronx neighborhood ravaged by drugs and crime.

 She uses a different word to describe herself: ‘Stubborn.’

 “It’s that refusal to give up. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had it,” she said. “The stubbornness – I wasn’t always admired for it. My mother thought I was a living terror. But it was to a purpose. It was the engine that drove me.”

 Sotomayer has just released her memoir titled “My Beloved World.” While the book doesn’t offer much insight to her legal reasoning it is a candid, revealing look at a life of obstacles overcome and opportunities seized.

She’s the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, raised in a neighborhood where she was told to use the elevators in buildings because the stairwells had muggers and drug addicts. She writes about her cousin Nelson, her best friend growing up. According to her, he was the smarter of the two, but he got hooked on heroine and died of AIDS before he hit 30. She sometimes wonders why she was able to escape the dangers that consumed him.”

 She writes about her lifelong “existential independence” saying, “It came from perceiving the adults around me as unreliable, and without it I felt I wouldn’t have survived. I cared deeply for everyone in my family, but in the end I depended on myself.”

This week’s focus is about being persistent and not giving up. Where in your life do you need to be a bit more stubborn? Can you remember any time in your life where you questioned those who thought they were best in charge of your life? What is the word that best describes “the engine that moves you?”

Reader Responses

“I am certainly stubborn, and so is my four-year-old daughter. I jokingly tell friends that my daughters get their genius and good looks from their mother, but they get their curiosity and stubbornness from their father. If I am pushed by those who do not have my best interests at heart, my stubbornness will come to the fore. And speaking of my daughters, I have stubbornly refused to get them a dog because I will be the one who has to not only walk the dog twice a day, but clean up after him. I tell my daughters that they are the ones who will wind up NOT taking care of the dog. Also, we have a cat. And one animal in the house is plenty. I also am stubborn on principle. If it is something that I strongly believe in, then I will put my foot down and firmly. So, I admit to being stubborn, but I am not stubborn to a fault. I will not be so stubborn that I don’t admit fault or won’t change. So, I come by my stubbornness honestly, as does my daughter. Enjoy the Super Bowl this weekend, Susan. I like Baltimore to defeat San Francisco 27-24 in a closely fought game. Hopefully the game will be as entertaining as the commercials. – “Warrior” Joe


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