The word strength goes beyond its physical appearance, and the exploration into the realm of what defines someone or something as strong, leads to the emergence of three pillars that converge together to define what strength is. These three pillars represent the: physical, mental and spiritual aspects of strength. Strength is often overlooked as simply pertaining to the first pillar, which defines it as physical force. However, to uncover the genuine essence of strength it is fundamental to search beyond the superficial definition of the word to reveal an intricately complex connotation.
Too often strength is solely characterized by its first pillar, while the rest are disregarded. However, if strength were to only be defined as “physical” then a chain of events would occur. Once strength is accepted as merely representing the brute force mustered by a being, it is then only praised and valued at that level. Consequently the defining word “physical” for strength, is too often associate with the word “masculine” which becomes one of its defining characteristics. This transforms our idea of what strength is and distorts it. If strength is defined by masculinity, then gender is immediately implied, and therefore society commences to praise men for being strong, and begins to teach young boys that the power of their muscles is their defining quality, and not the strength of their character. Emotions are then seen as a weakness, and it is forgotten that it takes strength to express vulnerability. This is why physical strength alone without its other pillars, cannot be accurately represented. Since strength is commonly associated with images of muscles and weight lifting,...
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...express benevolence instead of selfishness, even if they may not survive.
Strength is a characteristic that incorporates other words to fill in the puzzle of its definition. Therefore, it encompasses words such as ingenuity, perseverance, benevolence and countless other traits in order to reveal its true essence is. Its three pillars are tightly interconnected, each unable to exist without the other. However, due to the scope of the word there are countless interpretations, ranging from the superficial definition of brute force to the deeper intellectual realm that deals with mind over matter. There exist varying degrees of strength in each of us. Some possess great physical power while lacking in the mental and spiritual aspects. Regardless, strength is an obtainable attribute that can be exercised and practiced both physically and mentally to empower our lives.
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