Let me fortify my weakness

Noel Manuel

I have often heard people speak much about their weaknesses and strengths. There is a categorical difference between the two and the greatest strength that you and I, could ever possess is the ability to strengthen our weaknesses. fortify

It is not unusual for us to take pride in the qualities or personalities that form our strength. We draw inspiration from this and it keeps us moving.  The mor

 we focus on our strengths, the better we are equipped with energy and sustenance for a better and more positive life style.  
It is also not rare that we take refuge in the qualities or personalities that form our weaknesses. It is natural and a way of life. But more often than not, our weaknesses are generally mere excuses for us to remove any form of suspicions of our willful indulgences.   

A pious lady was all praise for her brother and was sharing all his good ways and habits. I was ardently left listening as she spoke. My brother is a very good person and extremely helpful, she said and continued with practically no end to the list of strengths that her brother possessed. Finally, she dropped the bomb. The only weakness that he has, she went on to add and I regret to tell you is about his addiction to drugs.  If all the bad habits that we indulge in are to be synonymously termed as ‘weaknesses’ then what are we to do in order to strengthen our weaknesses into strengths?

If all the bad habits that we indulge in are to be synonymously termed as ‘weaknesses’ then what are we to do in order to strengthen our weaknesses into strengths?

Weaknesses are nothing, but a way of sheltering our shortcomings in the form of excuses. We need to protect our willful indulgences and addictions and we normally find no better way to do it than merely term it as weaknesses.   

Weaknesses and indulgences are two different terms altogether. Qualities and habits that we are born with can be termed as weaknesses. While habits and qualities that we pick up during our journey of life are ‘indulgences.’ For instance, a wife often complained about the drinking habits of her husband and how he increasingly began to ignore the family. She also remarked how this habit had ruptured the peace and tranquility in the family.

Can we term the man’s addiction to alcohol as a weakness or willful indulgence? The man was not a born drinker and therefore it can’t be termed as a weakness. The wife unfortunately, failed to understand this and her husband’s lack of desire and strength to strengthen his so-called weakness had turned him an object of excuse. 

A 14-year-old boy had the habit of blinking his right eye. He was born with the problem and gradually had to live with it. The habit often embarrassed the boy but then people had come to accept his weakness and believe more in the authenticity of the weakness than the excuse. 

We often love to complicate things when we are confused between our weaknesses and willful indulgences. And in most cases we brush off our willful indulgences as weaknesses, particularly in situations that embarrass our way of life. 

If all the bad habits that we indulge in are to be synonymously termed as ‘weaknesses’ then what are we to do in order to strengthen our weaknesses into strengths?

Having spoken of the definition of weaknesses and willful indulgences, we now, actually have an option of transforming every quality or personality into a weakness or strength. It is just a matter of ‘careful’ indulgence and ‘careless’ indulgence.   

Take for example the quality of generosity. It can be both a strength and a weakness. We need not have to necessarily be born with the quality of being generous to be strengthened or weakened in it.

Careless indulgence in generosity is the perfect anecdote to weakness because it may invite criticisms or perhaps even make you and me a pauper. While careful indulgence in generosity can make us earn the blessings and love from those who are the benefactors of this quality.

To understand the philosophy of our strengths and weaknesses better, we can take the quality of spending. Careless spending can be our weakness because we may incur debts if we are not too cautious. Careful spending, on the other hand, helps us to be economical and accountable. It is the strength of not only the person but that of society and the nation.

Habits are difficult to let go and so are our weaknesses. We have got so accustomed to our carelessness and willful indulgences that we have literally forgotten about our carefulness and strengths that each of us possess. 

The question here is whether we need to strengthen our weakness or weaken our weakness further by succumbing to willful indulgences of carelessness. 

The term ‘indulgences’ also means the willingness to ignore the weaknesses in somebody or something. And ‘weakness’ is not something that can be ignored or weakened. We can either be ‘careful’ with indulgence, ‘careless’ with indulgence or ‘willful’ with indulgence. We have to be willing what we wish to ignore and what we wish to acknowledge. 

We need to acknowledge and make every ‘careful’ effort to strengthen it. Every habit of ours, be it good or bad, needs to sterilized on a regular basis so that the appalling ones, generally termed as ‘weaknesses,’ could be renewed with a new strength of carefulness and cautiousness. 

No one is without a weakness or strength. Our lives are balanced with both. We need to be craftsmen of our own lives and try to ‘carefully’ renovate our weaknesses into strengths. And this is possible only when we learn to accept and identify the difference between ‘willful indulgence,’ ‘careful indulgence’ and ‘careless indulgence.’

For the greatest strength that you and I possess is our ability to control our weaknesses and transform them into positive and constructive strengths for a meaningful life.

noelmanuel@rediffmail.com

The writer is the Bureau Chief (Nagaland) of Eastern Panorama (News Magazine of the Northeast), Coordinator of the Northeast Region (Poetry Society of India) and Life Member of the Poetry Society of India, Phonetics Trainer.