What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the word “strong?” Do you think of a big person who has muscles the size of their ego? Or maybe a karate master who is old and wise and can split a wooden board with his pinky finger? For me, when I hear the word “strong,” I certainly think of them but I don’t think they are the strongest people in the world. There exists a much stronger type of person, the type of person we see so rarely these days. These people can still be like the other types listed before but they are more than just that. The humans I speak of are those with a strong mind, rather than a strong body.
Unlike the body, the mind can be so much harder to train and often picks up many bad habits in its lifetime. So often, a mind will slip to laziness or negative emotions like fear or sadness. No matter how much we train our bodies, we can never escape the fact that it’s our minds that move us to action. The very act of understanding who you are and taking action around you all starts from the brain. You wouldn’t even be able to read this and think about the words I’m saying without it. It’s this brain of ours that sets us on top of this planets foodchain.
Let’s start at the opposite end of the spectrum: What is our weakness? When we give in to those impulses, those fears and we let them control our lives. Weakness is lurking around every corner, begging you to come and give it a little attention. Like a poison, it seeps inside and once its there, it’s very hard to remove. Like a leech, it sucks away your passion, your happiness, and the very essence of your being. After it’s finished, all that’s left is a ball of negativity, a prevailing sadness, and anger that won’t fade easily. How could we have let such a thing happened to our happiness?
Despite having such a powerful tool at our disposal, we seem to let that very tool control us at times. We have fears control our minds and keep us from accomplishing objectives and sadness to stop our motivations and dreams. Anger to destroy the things around us and hate to keep humanity from ever coming together. Is the brain really on our side? Well, yes, it’s just that it sees things only from the logical survival standpoint. The brain doesn’t like experiencing pain after all. Fear keeps us from dangerous things and getting hurt. Sadness stops us from pursuing things that might hurt us emotionally which is just as painful. Anger and hate hope to remove a problem by removing it entirely. The brain knows what it’s doing, but does it really understand everything?
“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” – Rene Descartes
Your brain doesn’t see the whole picture sometimes, it only sees what it wants to see, the things that make it continue functioning. It doesn’t understand that maybe, there are more important things on the line than just avoiding a scrape or a cut. It’s thoughts like these that make me believe something like a soul exists despite me not being religious. It’s amazing how humans can kind of override their brains programming and do things that are illogical. To ignore their fears, their own lives at times and sacrifice themselves for another person. That might just be the ultimate example of foolishness or bravery depending on how cold or warm your heart is. It’s this power of the mind, that shows to me, true strength.
A truly strong person is in full control of their minds and bodies actions. They can feel fear and sadness, but they face those emotions head on with courage. You hear these stories from everywhere, of people who put others lives above their own and saved the day. Stories from soldiers, stories from a neighborhood, or maybe stories from a random act of kindness a stranger gave. These people faced themselves and after winning the battle against their mind, won the battle against the world that had created chaos. The most muscle-bound hero in the world can still lose against fear and anger.
“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. ” – Thomas Paine
(Cody’s Take: It works for all genders of course)
The greatest battles we can face in life aren’t against external enemies. Often, our greatest enemy is ourselves. The battle between heart and mind is not something to be taken lightly and the battle never ends. The ones who come out on top are the ones that I consider our worlds strongest. These are the people we see and we follow, the people who have defeated the greatest enemy. After winning those battles, anything seems awfully small and weak in comparison. We have the confidence than to challenge any challenge and conquer any obstacle.
When we see weakness beckon us from the shadows, there is really only one choice we should take. Look that weakness in the eye and tell it “Sorry, but I’m kind of busy right now,” then watch with satisfaction as it sulks off into a darker corner. Walk proudly on, with strength in your step and pride in your bones. Nothing will stop you, you have a dream, a goal, and no laziness or fear will stop you. Feel the power that comes from making the hard choices, feel the power that comes from being the hero you only hear of in stories. The real strength that comes from those feelings are maybe the greatest feelings a human might be able to experience in life. Then, become the change that you want to see in the world.
Thank you for reading my reflection paper for this wonderful day. I think I might be doing more reflection papers than question papers lately, instead of alternating between them like I have. I’ll do question papers if I want to ask the world a question that I think we should be thinking about. For now, it’ll be self-motivation and changing ourselves. No better way to start changing the world than with ourselves after all. Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know what you think.
Have a splendiferous day!