What Strength Is
Beyond What The Eyes Can See
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”. Nelson Mandela
I agree with Mr. Mandela’s statement. My post goes beyond the subject of the color of skin. It’s about how others should be treated in general. Sadly, so many have decided to disguise malicious intent and just being plain mean with the phrase, ‘I’m just keeping it real’. In my opinion, that sounds like a way to avoid taking responsibility for one’s actions. There are so many ways to be honest with a person while still being tactful. And, some things don’t have to be said at all. But, because of those who are insensitive to others’ feelings, many times people are offended and have to then forgive without received apologies because the person blames it on ‘just being real’.
When are we going to start taking responsibility for our actions? When are we going to start holding ourselves accountable for the things that we say and do? How long will it be before some of us realize that the issue lies within us and it has nothing to do with keeping it real or ‘calling it how you see it’?
I used to think that because I’m a nice person, people should be nice to me. I didn’t quite understand how being mean to a nice person made any sense. That concept was a challenge for me to understand. But, I had been raised to know better though. I was taught to understand that how people act toward others is not always because of what another person has done. Many times, there are inner issues with the person. But, honestly at times it would still be a challenge for me to grasp it all. It had nothing to do with me caring what anyone thought of me or caring if they saw me for the genuine, nice person that I’ve always been. It was me trying to understand the motive and trying to figure if there was anything I could do to make them feel better . . .not about me. About themselves. Because that’s where the real problem lies. I can know that a person doesn’t like me and still smile or say hi if I see them. We wouldn’t be friends or even associates. But, I’m strong enough and confident in my own skin. Speaking to you will take nothing away from me. Those individuals are hard enough on themselves. I wouldn’t want to make a person like that feel any worse about themselves than they already do.
Here’s what real strength is: Treating people the way we want to be treated. That’s important. It’s the Golden Rule. Praying for those who prey on us takes a lot of strength. And, though it may be a challenge to some, not giving your attention to negativity is powerful.
In my book, Journey: A Trek Through Fear, Loss, and Acceptance; I wrote a chapter entitled, It Was Me All Along. Towards the end of the chapter, I wrote, “I don’t believe that someone is nice to you simply because you’re nice to them. One doesn’t speak hate simply because they are hated, neither do we love because we’re loved. As ADULTS, how you react to situations is who you are anyway. Yes, we can step out of our characters at times, but because the response is not true to who we are, our conscience and heart will force us to step back into the zone that’s more familiar to us. How you act most of the time is who you are. Our reaction to an action is a glimpse of who we are inside. Our character. We are who we are because we choose to be.
“When I say it was me all along . . . I’m saying that we may not be able to control everything that happens, but we most certainly can control how we respond”.
That’s what strength is.