A mix of strength and weakness

Our lives are a mystery of growth from weakness to weakness, from the weakness of the little baby to the weakness of the aged. Throughout our lives we are prone to fatigue, sickness and accidents. Weakness is at the heart of each one of us. Weakness becomes a place of chaos and confusion, if in our weakness we are not wanted; it becomes a place of peace and joy, if we are accepted, listened to, appreciated and loved.

Some people are infuriated by weakness. Weakness awakens hardness and anger in them. But to deny weakness as part of life is to deny death, because weakness speaks to us of the ultimate powerlessness, of death itself.  To be small, to be sick, to be dying, are stages of powerless, they appear to us to be anti-life and so we deny them.  If we deny our weakness and the reality of death, if we want to be powerful and strong always, we deny part of our being, we live an illusion. To be human is to accept who we are, this mixture of strength and weakness. 

Jean Vanier,  Becoming Human

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