Strength is often seen as a display of might, be it in physique, through aggression or foolhardy bravado. The gyms are full of people aiming to ape their six pack heroes, the exaggerated use of lung power backed occasionally by physical violence to prove one’s right are symptomatic of the malady that mistakenly believe that strength is in overpowering through might. Equally damaging is the mistaken belief that anyone who backs out from a challenge, takes a soft and calm approach or attempts to ignore provocation is a sissy or coward. The truth though is that real strength lies in being forceful without being aggressive, standing up to be counted rather than giving a standing count to a weakling and is best exemplified when backing out gracefully when the engagement is not worth it. This is well underscored in the following anecdote.
There is an interesting tale told about a Lion who consistently refused to battle a skunk. The skunk went around proclaiming the Lions fear and his superiority to the Lion when it came to a battle. The Lion still went about nonchalantly about his business. Upon being pressed for a reason for refusing to battle a skunk, he replied that he refused such a battle because as king of the jungle he didn’t want to be seen in the company of a skunk.
Then there is also the huge problem of misplaced machosim masquerading as strength.. Misplaced machoism, be it indulging in road rage, ragging juniors or taking umbrage at the slightest perceived affront is often the result of the mistaken notion, that one can display one’s strength to substantiate one’s worth. The real strength as exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi is in treading the tougher path of non violence, registering protest by peaceful means and retaining one’s dignity in the face of compelling provocation. Unfortunately unscrupulous politicians and radical religious fundamentalist are often guilty of attempting to provoke, incite and frenzy up support, particularly for wantonly misplaced causes through a slew of rabble rousing speeches and conveniently interpreted truth of happenings around. The objective of such tirades being, to influence support through a show of strength in numbers, as well as through demonstrated violence and mayhem.
Contrast this with the trend of peaceful demonstrations, candle light marches, black armband protests and resolution by dialogue and empathy. True these methods are more long drawn in getting results, cannot be a very effective substitute for dealing with continued aggression or be the only alternative at all times but by and large they deliver more lasting and acceptable results. Equally important is the realization that it takes greater strength to withdraw or throw in the towel when it is imminent or give in so as to live to fight another day. Strength is best demonstrated when one stands up to own up a mistake, genuinely accepts failures and heartily applauds a better victor. The ultimate strength is often perceived to be in sacrificing one’s life for another but equally important is the strength that allows one to take on the responsibility for another’s faults and failures and live with the shame, the blame and the infamy of a an act never committed by you. The greatest strength you can posses is to be accepted by others as someone dependable, trustworthy and honorable.
- Read the well known short story Mr. Know All by W. Somerset Maugham to appreciate and understand the real strength of the principal character Max Kelada. Click on this link to read the story http://ajarnjohn.com/about-fluency/original-stories/mr-know-all/
- Rate your personal strengths on the following parameters by rating them from 1-10 with your best strength being rated 10 and the least rated 1. Each perceived strength should have only one unique rating number. Can you think of examples from your life to justify the 2 most important strengths and the 2 lowest strengths?
- Not flustered
- Work ethics
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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