“You’re very stubborn, aren’t you?”

Show me a better quality in someone than pure rock-headed stubbornness.

I like stubborn people. They give me faith in humanity. They make things happen, and they won’t listen to a damn word otherwise.

It’s the movie underdog who takes a royal beating, over and over,  and won’t stay down. It’s the artist who hangs from ceilings, until the damn church is painted. The musician who plays ’til their fingers bleed, just to be better.

Life hardens these people. When anyone tries to change them, they dig their heels in more. They’re doing what they’re doing, regardless. Even if it seems like they’re bashing their head against a wall. But guess what? The wall’s going down before they do. Brick and mortar’s got nothing on will.

It’s that industrial grit my forefathers were made of, who fought back the Romans and the Vikings. And the Normans. And the Saxons. And the Spaniards. And the Nazis. Wherever death and tyranny tried its luck, my nation was up in its face.

I mean, my own gramps fixed Spitfires in the Saudi desert. A German bullet cut across his throat. An inch to the right, and it could’ve killed him. He never said a word about it, and he wasn’t the fighting type. He just wanted to run his shop. For the rest of his life, I think he was just sad that the whole bloody war had to happen. That so many people could lose sight of common virtue.

He was stubborn.

There’s no glory in war, and I thank god my generation hasn’t been drafted into one. Me? I’m living in luxury – I’ve got food and a safe home. There’s hot running water. On tap. There’s no ruler I have to kneel down to. I don’t even farm my own grub.

It’s said that we should know our history, and it’s true. Even just to remind us of how good we really have it. So we have to work a little, safe and warm by our computer screens? Poor us. Our ancestors would wonder how we cope.

We may not be the generations before us, but we’re still their children. We’re the descendants of soldiers, and nurses, and pioneers. The sons and daughters, way down the line, of ordinary people who built this world and defended it. They did all the hard work for us. They fought and died for us.

These days, all we have to do is maintain the machine. Keep the pistons oiled, and keep the cogs from falling out. We just have to pay attention, and stop people pissing all over what our ancestors built.

But, who cares about that. I wonder what’s on TV.

There’s a streak of stubbornness in all of us. It’s our wealth, our inheritance, built up over thousands of years. To make the world better, whatever our talents and whatever we do. To be god-damned hard-headed buggers, if we know what we’re doing is right.

Yes, some people are stubborn. We’re the children of proud stubborn bastards, and we’ve never been more free to spread their virtue to the world.

I’d say it’s our duty, our obligation, to put that great heritage to use.

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