On Personal Strength
I have a very firm belief that people should always endeavor to be as strong as they possibly can. This doesn't just mean physical strength. Mental, moral, economic, and spiritual strength are included as well. There are plenty of good reasons why we should make this endeavor. There are also good uses for that strength when it is gained.
Why to be strong:
The first reason to gain these strengths is that it gives one independence. Being able to work on one's own is very important. It means others are not supporting you. If others are not supporting you then you are not a burden on the strengths of those sources. You also have the freedom to make your own way and do more of the things that you want to do.
As an example, if you are economically strong you may purchase whatever you want. You don't have to get the approval of a loan officer. You don't have to budget one thing instead of another. That's quite a bit of freedom.
If you are physically strong then you don't need help with physical things. You can move your own furniture. You can change your own flat tire. In a worse case, you could survive in nature better than a physically weak person. You may fare better in a physical confrontation. Obviously these are good things.
A mentally strong person is not easily misled by others. Likewise, a mentally strong person can plan to use his or her resources in an efficient manner. The ability to find solutions to the problems of life is a good skill.
Moral and spiritual strength can provide guidance and confidence when faced with certain problems. Which path do you choose? How do you reconcile conflicting ideas? A strong moral or spiritual sense can help you through those things.
Naturally, if one strength is good, it is better to be strong in more than one facet. Being economically strong is better if you have the mental strength to handle your assets wisely. Add moral strength and your money becomes not just good for you but for society as a whole. Of course, being physically strong means having health. With health, you can enjoy your wealth more freely. These are just simple examples to illustrate the point that being strong is good.
What to do with your strength:
Some would argue that strong people tend to oppress weak people. I can't say that hasn't happened. Such a statement does not provide an argument against people trying to be strong as they can. It is only the leading premise in argument about why strong people should not oppress the weak.
This leads to my next reason for persons to try to be as strong as they can. If you have strength in excess of that required by your needs, you can divert some of that strength to helping others.
If you have physical strength you can help others with physical things. Though helping little, old ladies across the street pops easily to mind, so does military and police service. Firefighters are physically strong as well. Do you have to devote all your time to this? No, but you can see where physical strength can help.
I have met people who were warrior types who wanted to be ready to defend their people. Unfortunately they usually considered only their family and friends to be their people. It is important to understand that the entire community is their people, even if they don't like each other. When the time to comes that the community at large needs help, I hope the warrior types will do their duty and help as much as they can.
Economic strength is another source of easy examples. Donations to public and private charities are a wonderful way to help your community. I don't think this is something that should be mandated by law but should be encouraged as a way to improve the quality of the world around you.
A less obvious economic example has to do with hiring. It is reasonable in the infancy of a business to be focused on just the profitability of the owner. That is, after all, what the owner set out to do when he or she (or they) created the company. Why does one start a business? To make money. Now that you have money, you can do something nice.
Try starting a company where your personal profit is less but the goal is to stimulate the local economy. Imagine a business with the goal of hiring people. It still has to be run properly and should be profitable, but much of that money could be directed to expansion. More expansion means more jobs.
You wouldn't have to run the thing yourself. You would only have to front a little cash and some entrepreneurial know-how. Again, this would only be if your excess economic strength were sufficient to support it.
These are just examples of how someone could help. Nothing should ever force a person to help except for that individual's conscience.
Not all can be equally strong:
There are many of us who, for one reason or another, cannot be as strong as we want. A person may have a physical impairment or not be able to think as fast as others. Someone may have fallen on hard times financially and can't quite figure out how to fix things. That's fine. It's all part of life.
You'll notice that I said one should try to be strong. That effort is a wonderful thing. There is a great deal of respect in trying. No one can make the effort but you alone. You can have support from friends or even government programs, but only you can make that effort. That in itself will gain for you respect.
Respect through effort:
You read right. You will gain respect by making an honest effort. Maybe you cannot be as strong as the guy across the street, but you can be as strong as your circumstances allow. People will notice that you try very hard. They will appreciate the sacrifices you make to better yourself. You will be respected just for trying.
Not any of that fake respect that they say everybody deserves. Respect comes in varying degrees. It may be true that a person deserves a modicum of respect just for existing, but that is just the bottom rung. In reality, people will respect or disrespect you based on your actions. By making the effort to strengthen yourself in the ways I listed above, you will earn more respect. When it comes down to it, isn't that something you really want?
So that's it then. Make the effort to strengthen yourself. That will earn you respect. When you gain an excess of strength, fell free to help others. That will gain more respect. Earn more respect than you spend and you will never be in respect debt.