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My Strength

I want you to think of a strong person. Well, who is he? For Joel Preston Smith she is his mother. She was a person who did not give up when she lost her husband, took a job at a plant, or when she later developed polio. To Smith, the example that she set for him stayed with him throughout his entire lifetime. I can think of no better gender defining blog than what strength is.
I knew my mom as a woman that had a good life. Sure life wasn’t always easy for her but she never really had to deal with anything quite that unbearable. That was until I turned six and a recessive form of a mycoplasma infection turned into full-blown rheumatoid arthritis. Living with a mom riddled with pain every day and depending on my grandmother to take care of the cooking and cleaning and other chores that kept the house running, my life was not void of examples of what it meant to stay strong.
These days life is easier at home but I never have forgotten those days. How could I? I was very young and impressionable. Seeing my mom fight every day like that to have a normal life has set up a relatively strong work ethic that I now apply to all aspects of my life whenever I am reminded of her. And the sacrifices of time that my grandmother displayed in order to keep our family less stressful also set up another ethic. This one was obviously not to be a selfless person.
In our society today words like “strong,” “powerful,” and “survival” conger up images via our schemas that make us think about people like The Rock, John Cena, or Vin Diesel. But whether this is due to the media or some other evolutionary ideal for survival, the word has changed. We do not live in a society where survival depends on how much you can bench-press but on how much of life you can take on at any given time. This is something that comes both from male and female figures in my life. Strength to me is remembering seeing my mom after 3 years of living in her room educate herself to figure out what was really causing her arthritis through researching tirelessly and finally walking out of her room which had become her personal prison.


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