There’s an old fable about the competition between the reed and the oak during a gale storm. As the wind howled, the oak boasted, while the reed said nothing. The wind became a tempest, and the reed bent down flexibly to the ground. The oak fell, uprooted.
Sometimes we seem strong but we are just being stubborn. We become rigid in our moral positions and don’t even try to understand the problems of those around us. We like to be thought of as uncompromising and tough.
Maybe we’re frightened. Perhaps we fear that if we even start to compromise we will be lost; on sign of weakness and the dam will burst and we’ll be up to our old tricks again.
Don’t confuse rigidity with true strength. To be strong we need to be tolerant, responsive, and gentle. We need to be strong in a loving, flexible, human way. This is a central part of one’s personal growth.