Skip to main content

Strength is not what is seems

It's heard everywhere, the call-to-arms type of appeal: "Be strong". Fortitude is praised, resilience is envied. 
I could not agree more, they are all virtuous expressions of some kind of inner steely mechanism, the kind that triumphs over misfortune and does not recoil before blatant injustice.

Stiff upper lip, a straight back, eyes never looking down, an assured step.
You know the lot, romantic propaganda has been disseminating it for ages and philosophers have usually gone along with it.

If the physical body is in any way a manifestation of our true essence. It has been a good recipe to save face when confronted with adversity. We could say at least that we got beaten down, but not vanquished.

No one seems to care much about non-exceptional situations, when inner strength is not just a slogan, but a consumable, quickly exhausted by the continuous drip-drip of demands. Life is usually exacting a heavy price just by allowing us to experience it. We are not immortal, are we? 

Add all the various things we are expected to do for others or that we set ourselves as a task to do. The greyness of daily existence is a plateau of repetitive acts and hamster-wheel par excellence. It requires a different type of strength, the true untarnished one.

With no clarions to sound the battle and its total lack of pomp, there is though a secret source fuelling it up: humility. Or shall we call it humbleness? 

Whatever the name of this resource is, the true strength that underlies normal living cannot co-exist with vanity, pride or ego (again, name it as you wish).

Once events and people are received with gratitude (lessons and teachers, who said that?), everything becomes more bearable. Small miracles may happen too. There may be a spring in the step at times, as life’s burden gets lighter and sometimes we may not even feel it at all. 

We are at our strongest when we don’t need to be strong at all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A dog's life

This is going to outrage dog lovers, but I think that humans’ tyrannical nature is revealed not just when it enslaves other humans, but also when it enslaves dogs. We never say 'free as a dog", do we? Just 'free as a bird'. Dogs and humans, not all what it seems. We take a wolf at heart and spend lots of time and energy teaching it to obey and react to commands.  (To be more historically accurate, the 'taking' happened a long time ago, and it succeeded, so very different from cats.) We are prepared to downsize our vocabulary to a few words in order to achieve that.  We literally put up with shit.  All in the name of training, while the true purpose looks more like having a totally obedient living being under our control, one emitting apparent devotion.  In humans it’s called the Stockholm syndrome.  Even the basic freedoms of sniffing and running are restricted anywhere near human habitat. It takes a trip back to the wild

Beauty within, beauty without

"Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite" is a wonderful book by Robert Kurzban and the site where you can read a bit about it has a great URL too: https://www.hypocrisybook.com. It is all about evolution and the mind that has different compartments, creating this apparently terrible habit of noticing inconsistencies in all but ourselves. As our mind is a kind of cabinet with many drawers and some of them are full of junk and others of exquisite art objects, things can look a bit incongruous. Our inner balance depends on ignoring the co-existence of junk and art and happily thinking of the whole cabinet as a solid piece of furniture.  This is of course a bit of a simplistic review of the book and the theory behind it, but it serves the purpose of my own theory: that physical beauty is our greatest source of hypocrisy. If there is a drawer that very few people dare to open, let alone examine its contents, that is the drawer of our looks. The real physical appearan

First Knight

Holding my breath on the edge of a language precipice, what a way to plunge into writing in anything else than my mother tongue. Mr Ambrose Bierce, would you like to have written "The foreigner's dictionary?"