Why does society seem to place so much import, emphasis and value on the characteristic of strength lately? Sure it’s good to be tough in some situations but does strength really outdo vulnerability, empathy, and emotional inuitivness? I think not. 

This is strength to me. A tree goddess grows and nurtures her tree with peaceful love and fluid strength enabling her to adapt and change depending on the needs of her collective. I painted this gorgeous gal in Radium over the summer.

I don’t think I’m particularly strong, does this make me less of a person? I think not. I pride myself on my empathetic view of the world as this allows me to see all sides of issues and keeps me from turning myopically inward.

It seems, as of late, strength is one of the only qualities worth emphasizing. Although, perhaps, I’ve been paying too much attention to the cluster-fuck that is American politics.

First we heard from one of her brothers that Ivanka Trump wouldn’t allow herself to be harassed or raped because she’s too strong. I’m paraphrasing, but one of her brothers actually implied if a woman is raped she’s just not strong enough. I call bullshit! 

Next Melania Trump trumpeted in an interview she is a paragon of strength because…because…well I don’t think she really said. It’s not like she threw down and bench pressed the interviewer. 

Her explanation of wanting to be at home for her son rather than campaigning is noble and important to her, but she didn’t use this as example of her strength if I recall correctly. She simply mentioned it was the reason she hadn’t been spending time on the campaign trail.

Here’s the dictionary definition of strength:

strength [strengkth, strength, strenth] Show IPA

noun

  1. the quality or state of being strongbodily ormuscular powervigor.
  2. mental powerforceor vigor.
  3. moral powerfirmnessor courage.
  4. power by reason of influenceauthorityresourcesnumbersetc.
  5. numberas of personnel or ships in a force orbodya regiment with a strength of 3000.
  6. effective forcepotencyor cogencyas ofinducements or argumentsthe strength of hisplea.
  7. power of resisting forcestrainwearetc.
  8. vigor of actionlanguagefeelingetc.
  9. the effective or essential properties characteristicof a beveragechemicalor the likeThe alcoholicstrength of brandy far exceeds that of wine.
  10. a particular proportion or concentration of thesepropertiesintensityas of lightcolorsoundflavoror odorcoffee of normal strength.
  11. something or someone that gives one strength oris a source of power or encouragementsustenanceThe Bible was her strength and joy.
  12. Power to rise or remain firm in pricesStockscontinued to show strengthThe pound declined strenth. 

To simply, without evidence, claim to be “strong.” This isn’t enough for me. I guess I want anecdotes and learning tales, humility, and demonstrated involvement whenever you claim to have a trait or assign one to someone else.

Show me with words, with actions, what strength is in these tumultuous times and perhaps I’ll be a believer. Don’t forget to demonstrate empathy and compassion too as these qualities are just as important. 

K

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