Never Give In


“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour [sic] and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” ~Winston Churchill

The large ram stood undaunted by its formidable foe. Though his nose was bleeding steadily, he set his posture and indicated he was up for the contest once again. In an instant, both rams reared and lunged toward each other. As their horns came crashing together, you could hear the distinctive sound as it echoed across the canyon walls. They faced off for a minute or so and then appeared to become disinterested in the fight. To the casual bystander, it looked as if they had given up on their objective, giving the impression that they were more concerned with grazing than vying for breeding rights. This behavior was part of the ritual. The experienced observer would realize that another challenge to mix it up would happen in a matter of minutes.


Bighorn rams will repeatedly butt heads until one establishes dominance as the breeding season hits its peak in late November into December. Something inside of them will drive them to battle over and over until there is a clear champion. I have watched them clash dozens of times in a span of a few hours. I have seen a ram with a damaged eye and missing one side of his horn chide other rams to provoke a skirmish. Despite his lack of advantage, there was a “never give in” spirit programmed into his DNA to compete, even if it was a losing endeavor.  I witnessed another ram, that had a large gash in his forehead, continue to tussle until he prevailed.


If I have learned nothing else in the past dozen years, it the meaning of perseverance. Life will bring the unexpected and with it pain, tragedy and circumstances that have no rhyme nor reason. It requires resolve to take a stand and determination to push through the predicaments. When you realize that those things that were meant to harm you are the things that will shape you and refine you, it will give you the strength to carry on and press through to the other side. The trials will test your fortitude and help you to gain perspective. Despite setbacks and obstacles to your plans you must latch on to hopes, dreams and goals and fight with everything within to flourish. You may have to fight through sorrow and failure, fear and loneliness. You may get knocked down many times, but with a “never give in” attitude you can overcome the darkest dilemmas. The result will build resilience and prove your mettle while developing your rock-solid character.


Wild sheep will brawl with unwavering tenacity despite injury, exhaustion and hunger or even being outmatched. The future existence of the species is incumbent on the amount of fight and strength that is in the ram. Grit and steadfastness are needed in the unforgiving landscape in which they live as they endure extreme environmental conditions and threats from agile and wily predators. It is survival of the fittest. Only those with the “never give in” attitude will prevail.


I have met many people in life who have faced adversity on a much greater scale than I could imagine. I have great admiration for the ones who refuse to be defeated, but instead, embrace life with passion. Common characteristics among them are humility and an ability to find the positive in the middle of the negative.  Out of the hardships, they seem to exude wisdom and will use the misfortunes in their own lives to help others going through a similar circumstance.


There is only one opportunity at the life we have been granted. It will have ups and downs, mountain top moments and valley experiences, triumphs and disappointments. The key to overcoming is to find something worth holding on to that can sustain you until you have weathered the storm.  As Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”  Look for the good when evil tries to overtake you, remain optimistic when pessimism and gloom try to choke out all hope and smother your dreams. Don’t let negative circumstances drag you down and defeat you but instead develop a “never give in” spirit.


In Oct of 1941 at the height of World War II, Winston Churchill gave a speech at a school he had previously attended. Though England was on the verge of defeat, they kept battling, unwilling to give in to the pressure their foe was putting on them.  They knew that they needed dogged determination to defeat the enemy forces. One of his famous quotes was to be found in the speech, “Never give in…”. To other nations, Britain appeared to be on the verge of collapse. Under the leadership of Churchill, the country rallied and endured until victory was secured.


“There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer…” Churchill concluded the speech with the following quote. “Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.” ~Winston Churchill

The Lonesome Road Warrior   

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