The second part of my new tagline is Be Strong. What does it mean to BE STRONG? To my four-year-old, it probably means someone who is able to lift really heavy stuff. That might even be what my stepson (14) would think, too. But this is something we say to people who are going through turmoil and tough life events:
“You are so strong.”
“Use your inner strength.”
What does this look like? If a young mother is grieving her husband who died in a car accident, does this mean she doesn’t cry? Does this mean she doesn’t seek help from family or even professional help in the form of counseling? Not in my opinion. I think being strong in this case means she acknowledges her emotions while also helping her children acknowledge them and reaches out for help when she needs it. What do you think? How does society view strength?
I think sometimes we expect people of all ages–young and old–to deal with what life hands them because that’s what they have to do. But we expect it to happen in a certain way, and anyone who has ever been through a tough episode can tell you that being strong does not have one way it looks or one definition.
- What does strong look like when someone loses his job?
- What does strong look like when a best friend commits suicide?
- What does strong look like when someone you love is trying to force you to do something you don’t want to?
That’s what I’m wondering today. And instead of sharing my opinion, I’d love to hear from you first. What do you think “strong” looks like? What do you mean when you tell someone to be strong?
Margo L. Dill is a children’s and young adult author in St. Louis, MO. Find out more about her and her books at http://margodill.com.