POEM: Strength, what is it?

Living in this society and living at home gives a man

2 different diametrically opposed definitions of the word.

Movies where you have your hero and your anti-hero,

Equally valid views to side with,

Root for,

Sympathise with,

Identify with.


One urges you to turn the other cheek,

Forgive those who trespass against us,


Turn enemies into allies,

Be a man of the people.

We should offer help to those in misfortune,

Be their shoulder to cry on,

Be the rock, the pillar to steady those crumbling under the weight of their burdens.

Give charity,

Give them a 2nd chance,

Remember that hurt people hurt people

So you patiently forebear the victims

And the perpetrators as patients

And be their doctor to heal the hurt.

Such is the way of mercy, of love.


The other provokes you to take an eye for an eye,

A tooth for a tooth

And don’t bat an eyelid about leaving them blind and gummy,

Keep enemies closer so you don’t have to aim too far,

Defend yourself, fight for what you claim to hold dear,

Stand your ground against those who want to take it out from under your feet,

Take no chances,

Give them no choice

But to pay what they owe,

If they show no interest in doing so you take back your due,

Maybe even with interest.

Such is the way of retribution, of justice.


But… that doesn’t answer the question! Which path does true strength lie on?

Which is more powerful, the hands that lift you up or the hands that push you down?

Which does more good, the one who robs the rich or the one who feeds the poor?

Who is more important, the one who defends the oppressed or the one who attacks the oppressor?

Which is the higher moral ground, that when trod shall leave you stronger?


Is there even a right answer? Strength, what is it?



© One Tawny Stranger 2014

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