Where does true strength come from?
August 3, 2009 9:03pm CST
Mahatma Gandhi once said that strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. Is life really beneable to our will? Is it logical to never take 'no' for an answer? Some will argue that it cannot be be true one hundred percent of the time, and perhaps they are right, yet if we look at what Gandhi did, isn't it safe to say that it can happen most of the time? What are your thoughts?
5 Aug 09
I think it depends from person to person and then there are external factors which shape a person’s response to a situation to some extent. Some people will never take NO for an answer in any circumstances…we call those people adamant and unreasonable and spoilsports…but then they are showing their willpower and expecting the world to bend to them, aren’t they? Then there are people like Nelson Mandela…how many of us can spend so many years in solitary confinement without going mad? I mean how did that man spend so many years behind the bars doing nothing, day after day? Gandhi had his hands full but think of the willpower of Mandela! And then we have a local hero Masudur Rehman who is a double amputee below the knee and who has conquered the English channel and is the first swimmer in the world as a double amputee below the knee to cross the strait of Gibraltar… So what I am trying to say is that we should be reasonable in applying our willpower…it should not be such that we will always try to win a situation no matter at what cost…
• United States
5 Aug 09
Hi Pose, What you quoted is very true, and it is so apt and relevant to what is happening right now in my country. We just lost one of our country's most loved presidents, Pres. Corazon "Cory" Aquino. She is an epitome of fine lady and a strong woman, frail-looking but tough inside - she was strong in a gentle way, willful but diplomatic, commands respect in all aspects, and motherly but not easily swayed or taken. She's just been named the mother of democracy. Who would have thought that this plain housewife will rise up and lead the whole country to fight a long-time dictator? Now as she lays to rest, she left us with so many lessons, one of which is to be always strong and unwavering for the good of the country.
4 Aug 09
True strength comes from the heart. Its only when we are put in the toughest situations, whether that is a really bad situation,or a really competetive situation which makes us want to strive to reach a goal. Then you will find out how strong you really are! Will you fight? Or will you give up?
• Guwahati, India
4 Aug 09
Hi there, Mahatma Gandhi actually had no particular philosophy except the philosophy of non violation. This perhaps led him to air that strength does not merely lies in the body but in the indomitable will. It could be possible for a few people but not for all. Say India won its independence not exactly that Mahatma' s passive aggressiveness did all. That is a fallacy. It was the good will of the then Labour Party in the UK that took place. Gandhi was ailing and the Muslim League was on fire and Nehru and Tilak and others thought that better go into the bargain. I do not think that we are yet independent.
4 Aug 09
Hi rajib, Thank you for your thoughts and that interesting response. I have always had great respect for Gandhi but as you live in India you would have much greater insight into what's happening there and to whether or not you are yet independent. Blessings.
• United States
4 Aug 09
I watched a video last night called "The Secret". If you ever get a change, rent it. It speaks to this very topic. It is in effect talking about "The Law of Attraction". The idea behind this is that no matter what we think and what we feel the Law of Attraction will bring it into being. May not happen right away but it will happen. This is true of both positive and negative thoughts and feelings. If you are not well and you are convinced that you will not get well soon the theory behind this is that what you think and feel will be given you. If you know you will not get well, you won't. But if you are convinced that you will get better with every fiber of your being, you will indeed get better. And this carry's over into every aspect of your life. What we believe and what we feel will come to pass. The law of attraction. An example they gave. A man was flying his aircraft. He crashed. True story! When he woke up in the hospital he discovered there was very little of him that had not been broken. Even his diaphram was broken. As a result he could not breath on his own. He was totally paralyzed from the neck down and had a machine breathing for him. The only thing in his whole body that he could move were his eyes. The doctors said this was permanent. There was little to no chance of that ever changing. He told himself it was not and he vowed to himself this will not stand. During the night while he could concentrate he did all he could to force himself to breeth. To force his diaphram to just blow out. Over time, it worked and he came to the point where he was off the machine. The doctors were astonished. He promised everyone that he would walk out of the hospital before Christmas. Just before Christmas he took his first steps and by Christmas he walked out. He willed himself back to health when no one else believed it could ever happen. Some will look at Steve Reeves and say this guy was lucky. Perhaps. It is certain however had he not been convinced that he could do this he would have been that way for the rest of his life. If you never take NO for an answer you are so far ahead of the game.
4 Aug 09
Hi jbrooks, Thank you for that response and I agree that a person who doesn't take no for an answer is far ahead of the game. I've heard much about "The Secret" but I've never watched it. It has been talked about in other books I've read. Maybe I'll take your advice and read it sometime. Blessings.
4 Aug 09
There are two types of strengths - physical and inner. Physical strength requires muscles to get things done. If you need to carry something heavy, you use physical strength. However, when something devastating happens to your life, it requires your inner strength to help you solve problems. Inner strength is - i believe - far more powerful than physical strength. Having a strong will or determination comes from the inner strength. It is the inner strength that had motivated Gandhi and other freedom fighters to keep striving no matter what people do to them and no matter how much they have to suffer. I would not segregate strength into true strength and untrue strength. I believe that if we could use both physical and inner strength well, we would be able to overcome greater obstacles.