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  • Writer's pictureYamit Armbrister

Be Tough!

The waltz between toughness and sensitivity


We live in times that try to focus more and more on compassion, inclusion, understanding and the celebration of individuality, and it's easy to think that being tough is a remnant of a time when toughness of life demanded a rigid, man-man exterior. We have evolved into a society that values sensitivity, empathy, and recognition of each other's struggles. And that's a beautiful thing, isn't it? We are required to be considerate of others and embrace vulnerability.


However, life itself does not necessarily follow social trends or cultural changes. Life doesn't stop asking us if we're ready for the next challenge, the next crisis, and they certainly don't care, life it is, if we've adopted a softer approach to life. Life can throw unexpected obstacles in our way and has a way of slapping us in the face when we least expect it, demanding a response that goes beyond the gentleness we have learned to cultivate.

So how do we reconcile the apparent contradiction between the world's call for empathy and tenderness and the harsh reality that sometimes requires us to be tough? It is a delicate balance that expresses the very fabric of our existence. We find ourselves caught in the crossfire, torn between the need to understand, to accommodate, to be considerate, to be softer and the requirement to be resilient and tough.


In this dance between vulnerability and toughness, it may be important to redefine what it means to be strong. What does it mean to have high mental resilience? Power has nothing to do with blatant indifference or the exterior of an uncompromising, opaque, emotionally detached person. True strength lies in the ability to navigate crises while maintaining the compassion and sensitivity that make us human. It's recognizing the struggle, understanding our weak points, having compassion when necessary and still finding the strength to persevere no matter what.


Life's challenges are relentless, but our response doesn't have to be a retreat to bitterness, pessimism, obtuseness. Instead, toughness can be used as a tool, a means to navigate the unexpected terrain of life without losing the warmth and understanding that binds us together. Let's be tough at persevering to live, at doing good, not against our compassionate instincts, but in harmony with them.


In the face of life's unexpected nature, let's be the resilient souls who, with an open heart, face the storms head-on. That's where we do need toughness. Toughness in dealing with life. True, it is a delicate dance that requires a balance between the call for softness and the demand for toughness. But in this dance, we can find a force that transcends the superficial idea of being tough – but a force that includes empathy, resilience, and a deep understanding of human experience.


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