The quote today comes from Lao Tzu who says, “He who gains a victory over other men is strong, but he who gains a victory over himself is all-powerful.”
I recently heard a woman, who was being beaten by her husband say something along the lines of, he says “I force him to hit me because of the way that I speak, act, dress, walk (insert anything you like here)”. Not only am I amazed at how influential this woman is (and the many thousands like her) over her man – that she can make him lose control! I mean really! I asked her how she managed to do that – did she hold a loaded gun to his head and tell him he had to hit her, now? Did she stand with a knife held to his throat and say that she was going to “gut him like an animal” unless he raised his hand and beat her senseless?
Don’t be daft! This is a man who thinks that because he is physically stronger than her, he can control her actions or vent his frustrations, by beating her up! Yes, this man has gained a physical (and often a mental one too) victory over her – but nothing else! He hasn’t shown me that he is a man. In fact quite the opposite – he has proved himself to be a bully of note. So ok, now he has proved that he is strong – and now what?
What perhaps would have impressed me is if he had controlled his temper and his emotions to such an extent that he just walked away! Now that would have made him a powerful man, in my opinion!
What are you in your personal life and in your professional life? Are you a strong person or are you a powerful person? Perhaps the question should be, which would you like to be – a strong person or a powerful person?
I know which one would be the most comfortable one for me to live with – do you?