Perseverence vs Stubbornness

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ever wondered what the difference is? For starters, perseverence is considered a positive characteristic, whereas stubbornness is usually attributed as negative. Perseverence is a trait looked for by people, stubbornness is not. They're both pretty similar though, at least similar enough that one can be 'mistaken' for the other. I'm not a walking dictionary, so I don't know the difference in the actual definition of the words, but the words aren't the issue. The fact that they carry similar yet profoundly different connotations tell us that this applies to us too.

The biggest defining point, I think, is perception. A positive perception of the act would be 'perseverence', whereas a negative one would be 'stubbornness'. Take for example, the American Idol phenomenon (Now in it's fifth year). Of all the many different people who turn up, some do so for the fifth time (rejected for the past four years) and get rejected YET AGAIN, by the SAME JUDGES. Some people would attribute this to perseverence, in that no matter how many times they failed, they still picked themselves up and tried again and again. However, viewed in a different light (probably the more critical ones) this would be stubbornness to face the reality that they simply can't do it, because if they WERE up to mark, they'd have qualified. Stubbornness or perseverence?

One way to put to rest this debate would be if that person actually succeeded; Success means that person could do it and through sheer perseverence and willpower finally achieve that goal. Noone would then call it stubbornness. Unfortunately, this is on hindsight and when that person is facing the challenge, it is difficult to tell whether it's stubbornness or perseverence. Does it really matter? I think it does, because if you're being stubborn, you ought to give it up, but if you're persevering, then you shouldn't. (Or at least that's what I believe should be the case) The difficult part would be how to decide what to do... It's not an easy thing if you ask me.

Thank goodness we have God to help us through. If we are led to keep on keeping on, then we take a step of faith, venturing into the unknown, facing uncertainty and possibly ridicule. We decide whether or not it's something we ought to do, and when we do decide, we should do it 100%, or not at all. That's what walking with God is, I think. In times of uncertainty, in times when we feel lost, we can only pray and trust God to guide us through, that whatever He places in our hearts is what He wants us to do, and we go and do it, even though we may not understand why or how. Nay, ESPECIALLY if we don't understand. He's all we've got... He's all I've got.

CNY was fun, but pretty short compared to previous years. Having classes and assignments certainly didn't help liven it up much. I felt that it was rushed and very unfulfilling, but I enjoyed it. It certainly wasn't the best CNY, but at least I wasn't stuck alone... Something which I'm grateful for really...

It also dawned on me that since I'm over 21, I can register to vote. That's a pretty big responsibility (at least to me), and I'll exercise that right considering the sad state of affairs back home just now. Some parties better start bucking up.

Posted by Gerald at 2/02/2006 06:15:00 PM