You are Obdurate when you refuse to do what other people want.

When you are unwilling to change your opinion, or the way you do things; when you are stubborn and persistent in what you want to do; you are Obdurate. When you cannot be persuaded and are resistant to a softening influence, you are Obdurate.

Thank God for you!

It’s useless to lecture a human.

~ Rick Riordan

For the past three days I have been reading Paulo Coelho’s Like A Flowing River. Having finished the book, as is my wont, I continued to read every word (including promotional material) to the back cover. There were a few pages devoted to the author’s biography. I was shocked to read what I read.

Coelho’s father was an engineer and his mother a homemaker. Coelho dreamed of an artistic career. But this was frowned upon. In school, Coelho discovered his passion for literature and his true vocation (his North Star): to be a writer. When their attempts to suppress his devotion to literature failed, his parents took this as a sign of mental illness.

When he was seventeen, his father had him committed to a mental institution where he endured sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. His parents brought him back to the institution again when he got involved with a theatre group and began to work as a journalist.

I like talking to a brick wall- it’s the only thing in the world that never contradicts me!

~ Oscar Wilde

But they couldn’t cure him of his mental illness. All their force, compulsions and pleas broke against his obdurate will. While they shouted their commands in his ears, he continue only to listen to the voice of his soul. While they kept trying to reset his inner compass, it kept pointing obstinately to his North Star.

Thank God for human will!

I’m not stubborn. My way is just better.

~ Maya Banks

You can surely imagine the horror of having a man of Coelho’s talent, for moving the hearts of people in the way he does, compelled to be something he was not. He must have been called intractable. Accusations of disobedience and pleas of love must have been thrown at him. He must have been reminded- many times- of how they had his best interest at heart and that they were only trying to save him from himself. You know the drill, don’t you? Haven’t you heard the litany a million times too?

Had Coelho given in to their demands, what a terrible loss it would have been to the lives of millions who have been touched, whose lives have been altered, by his words. He was BORN to be a writer. Being a writer is his North Star. This was to be his contribution to the world… a contribution only he could make. The world would have been much poorer had he been obedient.

Thank God for his Obdurate spirit!


Freddie once told me that I was the worst kind of stubborn-because I wasn’t stubborn at all. I was patient. Patient, but determined. A stubborn person could be distracted, or tricked. But not me. I just held on and on and on, never giving up until I got my way, long after everyone else stopped caring.

~ April Genevieve Tucholke