We see very often that people try to overplay their
hands, that they try so hard to do something or control
something or somebody because they want others to think
that they're super strong. They're posing.
Many kids in my high school classes are posers in this
way. Someone hurts them and they say they don't care
when they really do. Someone takes something of
theirs and they have to threaten the other person with
physical violence, just so that others can see that
But real strength doesn't manifest itself in overexertion
or threats against others or in being "better"
than others. Real strength is seen in the person who
can look at a situation and act truly and authentically,
without worrying what others may think of him or
her. Real strength is seeing the situation and
determining what is an appropriate response no matter what
onlookers may think of it.
One of the strongest people I've ever known never, ever
had to prove her strength, and she never talked about how
strong she was. She did the work she needed to do
without doing 60-hour weeks, and her work was better than
that of others who were killing themselves at her
job. She was confident and she knew what needed to
be done and she did it well, without forcing herself to do
If we want to be successful, it's important that we keep
in mind what Rabindranath has said here. It's the
calm strength that comes from deep inside that helps us to
be truly successful, that helps us to accomplish wonderful
things. We may do some things well without that calm
strength, but that success is fleeting, and we can't count
on it to repeat itself. The inner strength is the
great gift that we can give to the world, for with it we
can contribute great successes that are lasting.