People piss me off, especially my friends. Sometimes they do stupid things and there I am standing there, rubbing my jaw saying “Why am I even friends with this person?” In other words, the people close to us have a way of sending us close to the edge. Why can’t they just be perfect? Why do they have to be slow? Why can’t they see how I feel? A few weeks ago, though, I stumbled across something that would change my whole perspective on people and their faults and weaknesses. It’s a theory called The Weakness of Strength.
The theory goes like this: every strength that an individual has, necessarily brings with it a weakness of which it is an inherent part. It is impossible to have strengths without weaknesses. Every virtue has an associated weakness. Not all the virtues can belong together in a single person. Make sense? Okay let me give an example. I, like some others, always seem to try to look for the good sides of other people. So, this allows me to be kind and empathetic towards people. I’d always assumed this to be my strength, but the flip side to this isn’t quite so bright. See, me being nice, allows people to take advantage of me and make me look like a complete and utter fool. (I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye.) So my weakness comes from my own perceived strength. If you’re willing to look, you’d find that everyone is caught in this particular dilemma of weakness and strength. We look at weaknesses as ugly parts of ourselves, imperfections, but that shouldn’t be so. Weaknesses are as innate as our strengths, it is not possible to have a strength without a weakness.
When I came in contact with this theory, everything seemed to be shone with a whole new light. When someone messed up, the question “Why am I even friends with this person?” was met with a resounding declaration of the person’s strength. Sometimes we get so caught up with a person’s weakness that we forget their strengths, the attributes that drew us to the person in the first place. In the face of weakness, let’s try to keep the strengths in view.
The theory can help us in times of crisis when we just can’t help but see the flaws in the people we’ve chosen to associate with. It undermines that pesky little idea in the back of our minds that somewhere out there, there’s a person who can fulfil all our needs, in truth, there just isn’t.
We are imperfect beings, inherently so, and the theory helps us understand this better. We will meet people with a whole new array of strengths but this will inevitably come with a whole new litany of weaknesses. The theory calms us down, reminding us softly that perfect people are like unicorns; they seem like a nice idea, but they simply do not exist.

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