Winning The Battle

“A show of strength does not always show actual strength”

by John Dunia

In today’s world, there are lots of exhibitions of power, might, and muscle. They range from something as simple as two children racing in a playground to professional sports leagues generating billions of dollars. Although competitive sports have been around for thousands of years, modern civilization has done much to accentuate and promote their value.

Physical strength, however, is not the only method for brandishing dominance over another. More recent innovations have sprung activities such as spelling bees, memorizing trivia, or mathematical duos. It’s even spilling over into the arts with shows battling overcooking and other epicurean rivalries. There is almost no limit to what can be made into a competition, mainly for entertainment purposes.

Typically during these spirited events, we tend to root for a one person or team and cheer them on to the end. Sometimes we root for the home team because to a small degree, their efforts somehow reflect on us. There is one choice which no doubt many have made and that is rooting for the “underdog.”

There is something about watching an encounter and seeing the person who has the odds stacked against him or her come out victorious. This is no modern trend, it has been around probably since our ancestors began viewing competitive activities. Most of us are familiar with the ancient story of David and Goliath where the massive giant of a soldier was slain by the lowly shepherd boy.

These narratives always have an inspirational aspect to them and the idea that the downtrodden, exploited, or suppressed come out a conqueror perhaps gives us a glimmer of hope for our next endeavor. The details in those accounts make a much larger impression on our memories and are the ones most often remembered and repeated.

However, being the underdog, doesn’t guarantee a victory; just as displaying a show of strength doesn’t translate into certain victory. Often people go out of their way to stage a show of strength but this masquerade is typically hiding some flaw or fear rather than demonstrating courage.

In a boxing match, intimidation is part of the strategy and exaggerating self-confidence to the point of cockiness may be a tactical approach. This can be true with other events that are generally produced for entertainment and show. However, vital issues which can greatly impact the lives of others should not be merely a staged or rehearsed charade parade.

Most of the great leaders throughout history were known more for their courage, patience and wisdom rather than one of intimidation. Although fully capable of defending their team, a physical conflict was rarely the first choice of action. It is safe to say that most who constantly depend on reminding everyone how strong, able, and competent they are really are crying signals to the contrary.

What the world needs are people who will lead; and not with the iron fist of omnipotence but rather with wisdom and patience knowing that equality, liberty, and integrity are what their legacy is leaving behind.

Thank you as always and I look forward to your comments.

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