Mental strength is equally hard to define, but at least it is not clouded by artificial substances. Well, some people use substances to get by when times get tough, but I think we’ve all seen how that has a tendency to destroy those same people. Mentally strong people tend to be calm, modest and they will never brag about themselves. When I did muay thai, my teacher was such a modest, calm and incredibly strong person. I’ve also met some guys and girls going through very hard times while displaying tremendous mental strength, and I must say it is much more impressive than any display of physical strength. I’ve learned that strength is not the absence of weakness, but the ability to get up and try again, no matter how hopeless things seem to be. Most of us will never be tested to the limit. But some are. And some of those people show tremendous mental strength.
There is false mental strength too. Someone who is behaving in an abusive way towards others, might feel strong, but it’s really weakness camouflaged as strength. I know that among some self-proclaimed «Vikings», it has become very popular to call other people «weak». I have been called weak for stating that there is nothing in Norse mythology that justifies racism. The fact that these people are usually reading my blogpost on some pirate website who has stolen my text, an act that in itself is sort of weak, doesn’t seem to bother them.
Sadly, abusive behaviour and the «might is right» attitude claims new victims every day. So I’m here to tell you that weakness can have many forms, and that an abusive person is never a strong person.
To conclude, I believe strength is good. A person who is strong both mentally and physically is a good person. She/he is caring and generous. So striving for personal strength really is about becoming a better person. Let us all try to get stronger.
-Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen
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