Stick goes back to a previous discussion he had with Heron about being stubborn. He understands the benefit of having consistency, but wonders how to be sure the initial decision was right.

Stick: Heron, do you remember that we debated whether stubbornness was a quality or not?

Heron: yes, of course, you were talking so loudly that I had to wait hours for the fish to come back.

Stick: oh, sorry, I’ll be careful this time. I pondered your response back home, and I thought you had it too easy with your answer.

Heron: what do you mean? I  shared my thoughts with you, nothing more!

Stick: yes, but how can you know you are on the right track when you’re stubborn? You could just pretend everything is fine to avoid changing course. For example, how do you decide if you stay in one place, or if you go further? I agree with you that we must have consistency to achieve result, yet it resolves only half of the question of knowing what to do in details. The initial decision could be wrong.

Heron: ah, I see you have given some thoughts to what I said. You’re right, you always have to revise your decisions days after days. As for me, it is often intruders like you that make me change. I am wary of them, so I go somewhere else. Otherwise, when I settle for a spot, I make sure I put all the odds on my side in order to justify my decision. This is why I remain silent, motionless and alert. I do not see why you ask these questions when the answers are so simple!

Stick: stubbornness should not be blindness, is this what you mean?

Heron: yes, that’s right. Keep your idea as a guide, but if it seems it leads you to dangerous paths, let it drop before it gets you into trouble.

Stick: but don’t you think that when that time comes, being stubborn let you believe that everything will be well when everything is already bad?

Heron: I see you have some experience in this matter! You are right, but it is the beauty of experience that it makes you reassess your decisions constantly. Use it, or accept the consequences of your choices.

Stick: Heron, again, you’re right, I wonder why common sense comes to you so easily when it always seems to escape me!

Heron: it’s because you’re too emotional, Stick, you lose sight of what you want to worry about you what you would like. It does not work like that. You have to be more patient. Leave time for things to fall into place, be present and attentive, that’s reasonable stubbornness. You will then see if what you expected happens. And if it’s not the case, do not forget that even a mistake can prove helpful in the long term. It all depends on how you deal with it.

Stick: I leave you now, and I go away silently. I’ll think about what you said, and I’ll bring you some fish to thank you if you do not catch some soon.

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