Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Building Strengths From Our Weaknesses

I-90, Minnesota
Continuing on with the subject of "Behind Every Strength is a Great Weakness", I wanted to touch some more on how that's lead me into motorcycling and becoming the person I am today.

The point I tried to make before is that weaknesses we perceive in ourselves causes us to build strengths to make up for them, or to divert attention from them.

Someone with many trophies and certificates of achievements on their wall may be covering up a fear of insignificance. Someone looking rather young for their age may be covering up a fear of being called, "old". And this exists in the animal world too: Desert tortoises hide under a tough outer shell to address their inability to run from predators, while foxes have developed keen hunting skills to make up for their inability to live as herbivores.

After riding across the country with Sash the past couple of years, I've built up a better understanding of human beings and the human mind.

Every person has weaknesses and faults, and each of us have our ways to make up for them, or at best, divert attention from them. And some of us are much better at identifying these characteristics in others. For the record, I'm not one of them.

And so, when I detect I'm in the presence of someone who can read me like a book, I feel quite vulnerable. That's my weakness, feeling exposed. I'm willing to bet that most men feel vulnerable in this way, but I'm certain I feel particularly vulnerable. In fact, so much so that I've gone on to build strengths to make up for it, and divert attention from it.

Perhaps I'm a better writer for my lack of verbal talents. Perhaps I remain elusive for my lack of person-to-person skills. Perhaps I've developed a comfort with remaining solitary.

Just the other night, after Sash and I got into our hotel room here in the Seattle area, we watched this movie on Lifetime called "The Perfect Assistant", where Rachel lost her parents at a young age and was raised by her aunt, uncle, and cousin. She developed this uncontrollable anger that led her to wreak havoc with employees at her job, and ruin many lives.

"I can identify with that anger", I told Sash. "Albeit this is a movie, and her anger is heavily dramatized, nonetheless I know exactly how that feels".

I've become intellectual so that I can keep that anger at arm's length.

Human beings are inherently social creatures, and children desperately need their mothers and fathers to love them. I would hate to see a little boy or girl develop the same anger and become its hostage. That kind of weakness can summon up destructive strengths.

I love meeting other motorcycle riders wherever I go. I love interacting with them on social media. I even love riding with them and hanging out over food and drink. But some days are a struggle to hold on to my sanity. It's not easy to fake enthusiasm when you're frightened inside. I think it's just one reason why I find riding my motorcycle far, far away so relieving.

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About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)