I’m stubborn. Not only a Taurus, I was also born in the year of the Ox. I’m mixing my astrology, I know. I guess it’s why I have a double helping of stubborn.
Do I think I don’t have a choice in being stubborn?
No. I don’t believe in predestination or anything that restricts free will, although I don’t know how to adequately explain how astrology is so accurate.
Anyway, at the start of an action, I’m called stubborn (if I’m nice about it).
If it ends up that I was right, I’m complimented on my determination. People like determination. Persistence, stick-to-it-ness, all good qualities.
If I’m wrong, well, then that same quality flips. I’m not only stubborn, but stupid as well. Probably mean, too. Stubborn as a donkey, an animal not smart enough to know better and too mean to force. It’s probably where the slang use of its other name came from.
You can’t get a donkey to do something it doesn’t want to do. If you ride a donkey, it won’t go just anywhere you tell it, and won’t go further than it’s willing. Stubborn. Now, their close cousins, horses, aren’t stubborn.
Everyone loves a horse. Works like a horse, as they say. Once trained, they’ll do what you tell them. A good, dependable horse will work for as long as you want — well-past self-injury, even to death. Yes, a good horse will work and run itself to death if you tell it to.
Animal cruelty aside, what if you are both beast and rider? Is it good to ride yourself to death?
Suddenly, even stubborn doesn’t sound so bad. Maybe stubbornly refusing to go a step further is actually wisdom. Smart as an ass?
But everyone knows the easiest path to failure is to stop too soon. Countless true stories of going just a bit further resulting in success prove it. The donkey that refuses to go on just before safety will die just the same as the horse pushed too far…
If I could just predict the future, life would be easy. If I knew, really knew I would succeed, then I’d just have to judge if the cost is worth it. If I knew for sure I wouldn’t fail (and I would say dying usually fits under failure), I could know if my stubbornness is good or not.
Of course, I can’t predict the future. I don’t know anyone who can. So. Is it better to be a horse, or a donkey?