I think that generally, people don’t quite understand what it means to be tenacious. I think a similar confusion exists with the meaning of courageous. Via A_B, I read an article about people who were not fleeing from Hurricane Katrina. Read this particularly frustrating blurb:
“My son’s having a fit,” the 56-year-old real estate agent said as she drove to Matassa’s Market for some last-minute provisions. “We’re kind of a different breed of people down here, people in the Quarter. Heck, if we can put up with Mardi Gras, we can put up with a hurricane.”
These few people seem to believe that they are displaying an admirable tenacity — standing their ground and refusing to give up. But it’s not tenacity. It’s just plain stupidity/stubbornness. And I don’t say that to insult people; I say that because I am frustrated and saddened at the fate these people are likely to face. It’s not like their reactions can change the path or outcome of the hurricane. I think they believe they are doing an admirable thing, and it just tears out my heart.
Please people, go somewhere you know you will stay alive. Think of your family and friends. Property is property — no amount of history and memories is worth your life, especially when losing said life will have no impact whatsoever on your property. There is no action they can take to save their houses, so they should act on the variable they DO have control over, which is saving themselves.
On a related thought, many people think being brave or courageous is the same as being fearless or unafraid. I strongly disagree. Being brave is knowing exactly how terrifying something will be and standing strong and taking action despite the almost-paralyzing fear. To be fearless is to be either stupid or apathetic to the consequences. I learned this from watching movies. 😉