History is filled with men who have achieved greatness and notoriety by means of diligence, courage and confidence. These men are known throughout the world, even after death, for strength in character that makes women quake in awe and lesser men quake with fear. A marvelous metaphorical example of this strength is Thor, who said to his awaiting beloved, “The answers you seek shall be yours, once I claim what is mine.” He knows what he is, what he wants, what he lacks and what he will do to get it–and he unselfishly respects her and their potential relationship so as to step fully into his manhood before he approaches her for partnership. There is no greater strength exhibited by man than this.
Women and Willpower
Gandhi said it best. “To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then indeed is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If non-violence is the law of our being, then the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”
To the women of India, Oct 4, 1930 Mahatma Gandhi
Willpower and Personal Responsibility
NPR broadcast a story about the “victims of gun violence.” This title is grossly written. Guns are neither violent nor non-violent. Our opinions about the person who pulls the trigger, could be either. Let’s be responsible for our own actions and require the same of others. Don’t blame the gun for the violence. The gun does nothing without its user.
Just as hands can be used as tools to touch, love, care, caress and coax, they can also be used to hit, hurt, harass and harrang. The hands are not to blame for the love or the violence. It’s not the hands’ fault. If the hands were cut off, yes, they could not longer hit. But the intent to hurt still lives in that person and he or she will use another tool to implement their violent intent.
When we empower ourself by taking personal responsibility for our intent and actions by saying, yes, I did that—we empower ourself. By saying “I am responsible for the hurt I caused by using my hands (or gun) for violence,” we empower ourself to change and not do this again. If we continue blaming the hands and the gun for the violence, we will not change, we will just make more rules against abuse committed with hands and guns.
Willpower and Happiness
If we doubt that we are in control of our own happiness, we need only ask, “Have I ever been angry and unhappy when no one else was present?” Who is the source of that happiness?
Each of us have felt angry and unhappy when we were alone. We have lots of reasons, valid—sure! But in the end, these reasons and the blame of others gives away our own power to change the angry and unhappy feelings into lives that are peaceful and pleasant. We can blame others for our unhappiness forever, which nearly guarantees that life will not get any happier.
So, what can we do? How can we empower ourself and find happiness within? We can begin by asking ourself these questions.
What can I do today … what am I in charge of that brings me happiness? Can I do more of that? How can I add more long-term happiness to my life and the lives of others?