I’ve known a lot of dangerous guys [and gals]. There are millions of people in this world who can brawl, fight, kick butt, and scrap. There’s always someone physically tougher and willing to take things to higher level of violence.

How is strength measured? What is tough? Who’s a badass? There are certainly more examples, but here are 10 of my favorites.

1) The single parent [usually a Mother] who works more than one job and hardly sleeps so her children are safe and have a home.

2) Rejecting shortcuts and traveling the [difficult] road less traveled.

3) Speaking the truth, always. I believe we should speak the truth or not speak. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “well, I can’t tell you.” Silence is better than lying.

4) Intellectual humility. The ability to say, “I was wrong.”

5) The ability to apologize. An apology can be powerfully disarming and is crucial for mental health.

6) The ability to ask for help.

7) Walking away from violence. Tough guys have absolutely nothing to prove. They don’t want to hurt someone unless it’s unavoidable. Spider Man’s Uncle said it best, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

8) Investing the time to search for the truth instead of drinking the kool-aid, putting in the work instead of following blindly. There are certainly millions of kool-aid drinkers out there.

9) Choosing to break the cycles of dysfunction. Our pain should not be passed on to our children. As parents, we are responsible for our children’s emotional, mental, and physical health.

10) Owning and claiming one’s [shit], regardless of how uncomfortable or painful. The ability to say, “yes, that was me. Don’t blame the other guy. I am absolutely responsible.”

I’m certainly not a pacifist. I understand the occasional need for violence, and I’m capable of precisely that, violence. Knowing when to throw the punch or pull the trigger is essential, such as safeguarding life and property.

Joseph Shanklin

February 7, 2021

2 thoughts on “What Is Strength?

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