How strong is an ant? Some remarkable feats of strength can be observed if ants are watched for a length of time. As tiny as they are, they would march in lines, haul foods, grains of sand and objects several times their own body weight. It is also assumed that if humans are shrunk down to the size of ants, we will be as strong if not probably stronger. We all have strengths similar to those of ants. But how would we know this, if we just complacently sit back dwelling on how weak we are?
Strength is a relative attribute. Perhaps this is why some people overlook their strength; some deny it, and some neglect it. Some are not even aware that they are that strong. Strength is not stored so as to draw on it whenever need it. There is no “instant strength”, the way we have instant coffee. To live a life of purpose is to be aware of the enormous power at our disposal as unique individuals. It is important that we know what our callings, interests and passions are. We must be able to recognize our inner resources, walk our own path and stride our own course in life. It is said that a strong person who is unaware of his strength is not any more useful than a weak person.
What then does it mean to be strong? To be strong is to be dedicated to a cause and finish what you started. It is to pull through a difficult situation in one piece even when people believe it is impossible to remain intact. It is to keep your mind sane in the face of trials even when everyone will expect that it should tear you apart. It is to have a steadfast belief in the light at the end of life’s tunnel even when there are so many excuses to lose hope. It is also to be self-disciplined even when there are many justifications to lose focus. To be strong sometimes means to even acknowledge your weaknesses, to ask for help, to admit your mistakes, to apologize, and to forgive even when revenge is sweetly beckoning.
Further, to be strong is to step out of our private world and join our strength to the strength of others in pursuit of common goals. A family, a community or a nation can be strong when the members work together, thinking in unison and acting as one. This is an essential ingredient of success. It is a sure path of growth from incompetence to competence, impossibilities to possibilities. We can definitely do better than the ants if rightly motivated and guided.