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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Is Strength?



In April 2003, Aron Rolston, an avid climber, wanted to explore a remote area in the Utah desert.  While climbing, a huge boulder fell on him and pinned his forearm and hand to the rock wall.  For five days, Rolston was trapped.  He had a bottle of water and hardly any food.  He couldn’t move the boulder.  He couldn’t chip away the boulder.  He was stuck.

He made a decision. 

He cut off his arm in order to free himself.  That decision might have cost him his arm, but it saved his life.  He stated, “That was the moment I stepped out of my grave and into my life.  I don’t regret losing my arm.  It showed me what was important in my life, what I’m capable of.”

What Is Strength?

Viktor Frankl wrote a fascinating book titled Man’s Search For Meaning.  In it, he talks about the prisoners in Nazi prison camps.  He was fascinated that in the midst of horror, of deprivation, of dehumanization, there were prisoners who survived even though they were weak and ill.  There were those who didn’t survive even though by all appearances, they were strong and fit (as one could be in that situation).  Frankl couldn’t understand how some prisoners survived when by all appearances and circumstances, they shouldn’t have.  He couldn’t understand how some prisoners died when by all appearances and circumstances, they should have.

What Is Strength?

In previous posts, I’ve written about perseverance, which to me is almost synonymous with strength.  I’ve written about love, about hope, which to me, if expressed, takes a certain amount of courage.  And, if you have courage, you have strength.

Strength is taking one more step when you don’t have the courage, the stamina to move.  It is taking one more step when you don’t have a clear path to follow.  It is moving forward, perhaps even retreating, rather than standing still and cowering.

Strength is telling the truth when it is so very easy to lie.  Strength is defending someone in the face of strangers, in the face of foes, in the face of friends, when that someone is being unjustifiably accused and wronged. 

Strength is believing when sometimes it appears that there isn’t seemingly anything to believe in.  Some call that faith.  Strength is reaching out a hand to support, to lift up, to comfort when you don’t know if you will be rejected or your hand slapped away.

Strength is admitting to yourself that you are wrong.  Strength is after admitting to yourself that you are wrong, making it up to those around you who were affected by that wrongness.  Strength is after admitting to others you were wrong, accepting the ridicule of foe and friend with dignity, with compassion, and perhaps, with silence. 

Strength is helping others find hope in impossible situations and circumstances.  And Strength is offering, and accepting love from those who are perhaps, unlovable.

What Is Strength?

Strength is something we need a lot more of.  In ourselves.  In each other.   Something to think 
about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe