So, I’ve complained and expressed a lot of hurt based on interpersonal relationships on this old blog. Not going to do that here today, but I do have a question to ask.
“What makes a strong person?”
My hackles raise at the very notion of a “strong” person.. That would mean that there are weak people. What discriminates? I thought we were all supposed to be equal; you know, equality? “Why would you discriminate against someone with a lower IQ?” asked the creative writing instructor. I could only think of “prejudice.”
What, what?!?! “But why?”
This seems to mostly do with each person’s intense desire to be in the “in” group (quick Google search to get this, you can dig deeper here). An undeniable scientific fact is this primal desire to be accepted by others. Therefore, it would seem that the only reason anybody wants to feel like a strong person is they are being first driven by the desire to be important in other people’s lives. Sure, joy or spite may be your outward behavior, but making others see your value, getting positive feedback is the food of the soul.
Whether this be on the open stage of performance, whether it be in tight social circles, social media, interpersonal relationships, it all seems to be from the same genus of “acceptance.” Recognizing that, are we to draw the moral judgment that strong people are better, in a more desirable state, because they seek the acceptance of the greatest number of people? Doesn’t seem to be true. We have the word and notion of “arrogance” and “disloyal.” If arrogance makes someone able to behave immorally, yet they behave this way to appear “strong, (accepted by many)” one of the highest goals achievable, primal drive, unavoidable, where do we get our negative association with the term arrogance.
Disloyal, as well. They wanted to be accepted by someone to hurt you? Isn’t there achieving being accepted by others also a show of strength. Belongingness was the mode of behavior. It’s bad they brought pain to you, but they did it by showing a type of strength—no?
We have all, in some way, been the pathological version of strength. Aren’t all versions of strength acceptable by some, detestable by others.
So? What is it that makes being strong, better?
What constitute strength? Is being “strong” at the right time what matters? Should you just run around “being strong” in everyone’s face? Should we respect people who are being strong while they hurt others?
I’ve tried to be “strong” often. Sometimes, I know I have been even while witnessing pain on others. Sometimes, I realize that I haven’t been strong; I’ve been cruel. I doubt I’ve ever been better. Which is hilarious, as I have lived most of my adult life with a mantra, “Always try to be the better person.”
I am curious of all my audience. Where do these lines fall?
I’m a hard determinist, so this is totally bait. But, I’d love to know.