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Strength of character is not an outdated ideal


Strength of character is not an outdated ideal. Rather, it is an ageless principle and not a passing trend. In an age where millennials and snowflakes have been associated with a softness in nature, I am hopeful that enduring traits such as will, fortitude and resolve shall prevail. My vision is that middle-age community will restore old school virtues by their example and inspire youth in the old ways of strong character.

In the movie Skyfall, ‘M’, head of MI6 quotes British Poet Laureate Tennyson in her closing defence of maintaining the need for the secret service:

“Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

And who else to display the epitome of strong will other than James Bond? Whilst Bond’s body was worn, injured and aged, his unyielding spirit remained intact for God and country. This was portrayed brilliantly as you see Bond running with unrelenting intensity through the middle of London streets to save the life of M.

I recall my childhood guidance that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never harm you. Contrast this to the modern state of affairs where social media likes, reviews, Facebook comments and twitter-feeds are giving words far more power over one's esteem. Nowadays people suffer FOPO which is the fear of other people’s opinions. What’s paramount is one’s own validation. Not to mention the approval of those we respect and who have our best interests at heart.

The proverb seek and ye shall find has become Click and Collect. "To strive, to seek, to find" is in order. Convenience has softened society. Youth are growing up in world where they can access almost anything with a few swipes, scrolls and thumb-taps. All from their lounge room whilst Netflix is playing in the background and the Uber Eats driver is on their way over. Technology has its advantages but its downside is promoting sedentary behaviour. As a result, incidental exercise is on the decline giving rise to lifestyle-driven ailments such as diabetes and obesity. Take a stand by literally getting up and standing, then walking and maybe even jogging.

Strength of character requires each one of us to resurrect ageless values. Be the example of integrity, resolve and sincerity. Additionally, it requires self-transcendent pursuits. Ultimately it demands that you stretch yourself. This will be hard because you live in a world of convenience, distraction and excess. But this is the work of the urban warrior. People like you who are striving to live their fullest life whilst lifting others so that they may do the same.