Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty

"Admire this man . . . Uncompromising men are easy to admire. He has courage, so does a dog, But it is exactly the ability to compromise that makes a man noble."

-The Leper from Braveheart

Compromise is part of our daily lives. Whether it's deciding where to go to dinner or letting the other car at a four way stop go first, without compromise our lives would be full of tension and unhappiness. As much as learning to compromise is essential in life knowing when not to back down is just as important.

Yes, on some levels an uncompromising men are easy to admire, but it's not the ability to compromise that defines us, it's knowing when to compromise and when to hold fast that truly makes men noble.

"I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty is a declaration of strength, belief and resilience. Originally released in 1989, this song has become an anthem with a wide appeal. While the subject of this song is ambiguous the lyrics speaks to the conviction we all wish we had inside of us.

Well I know what's right, I got just one life,
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around,
But I'll stand my ground, and I won't back down.

Petty himself doesn't exactly seem like the toughest and most intimidating presence. He doesn't have the greatest vocal ability but that's also part of the reason this song has such broad appeal. You may not love his voice but you can definitely relate to it.

Tom Petty is an everyman stating his beliefs through a musical landscape completely lacking musical pretension. In some ways it’s easier to be inspired by rock stars than world leaders, because not only does a song like “I Won’t Back Down,” speak to us in a musical language we understand but it’s a message that we can make our own by singing along.

Our beliefs don’t shape our lives but rather it’s what we do about our beliefs that define our future. Every week, I espouse my beliefs about the human condition (sometimes the doggy condition) in a small way to stand up and fight for the world that I want to raise my children in.

As much as this is about sharing my thoughts with others, this blog is also about defining for myself what is that is important to myself, what I truly believe and what I cannot compromise about. This is often difficult but it’s important that we all take some time in our lives to do this, because as Alexander Hamilton put it, "Those Who Stand For Nothing, Fall For Anything."

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was a country singer who said that, not a founding father. ;)

    In all seriousness though, I miss Tom Petty, while you're right that they weren't exactly the best songs ever there was something about them that was catchy mentally.