The Weak and the Strong

Posted: September 23, 2020 in weakness
Tags: , , , ,

Life teaches you to make friends friends with grammar, especiallythe adversative conjunction, “but.”

Example: I’m confident, but also easily bumfuzzled. That’s true. Bifurcated realities.

My core emotions dive into the deep, the abyssopelagic, but I have had jumps out of the water, like the Exocoetidae, the flying fish.

This is human, this but that.

I think of the painter Frida Kahlo. So beautiful. So much emotion in her self-portraits. So much pain there too. She ranks, a renown Mexican painter, but she suffered terribly. She was weak but strong, disappointed but fulfilled, hopeful but despairing.

There are conflictories for all who work hard and hope for much. Lots of “buts.”

Paul Tournier was a Swiss physician and author who parsed two kinds of humans, strong and weak. He clarifies the characteristics. But truthfully we are all some of both — especially when it comes to the inner life. Especially over the long haul.

The low country of emotion — sadness, disillusionment and doubt — they can easily follow the Himalayas of excitement, hope and belief.

My first teaching job was at Lincoln High School in San Diego. I began weak, unsure of myself as I navigated the deep waters of class management and curriculums that would empower our racially mixed student body. It was a rough start for me. For some classes we failed over 50% of the students — simply for non-attendance. But as the years went on I strengthened, inspired students, they did better too. Strong helped. I eventually became a mentor teacher. But by my last year there, I was burned out. Weak again. Interesting.

When we think of the strong we picture a person who is fired up. They’re on vision steroids, courage adrenaline. But not always. Remember Sampson. Strong, weak, strong.

Humans range, vary, run the gamut, ply the spectrum. An emotional dualism is endemic to us.

Thought: Letting people see our weakness can be a way to bond with them.

Here is my area of weakness at the present time. Chronic pain. It sucks! Sometimes I’m strong. I take it. Other times it just crushes me. I’m weak. Ugg.

Being open about such things is healthy. Think of the opposite, hiding behind a strong-only image — name dropping, credit taking, FaceBook swaggering, snoutbanding, gasconading. But all that is a bulky backpack. It’s a heavy load to keep carrying a fake face.

A thought: Don’t hide your weaknesses. Unpack the pack. Take off the mask. Let your whole self shine!

Don’t hide your strengths either, your toughness. Help people. Be authentic. People like that.

Another thought: Be gentle with yourself. Strong, weak — ahh, you’re normal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s