Strength Ablaze

Rebecca - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Within the genders lies an extreme opposition. The fiery strength of men and the tenderness of women; both are vital to our coexistance. From youth to adulthood, the juxtaposing ideas of the sexes affects us all to the core. And it is in these depths where the differences in strength between men and women engrave their mark upon our lives. A mark as vivid as the searing blue center of a glowing flame.

Acknowledgement of these contrasts came to me when babysitting a four-year old boy and his one-year old little sister. In the midst of the chaos, somewhere between hurling himself at the furniture with full force and driving his car toys as fast as he could into the walls, Hunter hurt his leg. The very instant he felt pain, he dove into the chair cushions. My first reaction was contimplation and confusion. Why is he trying to hide?

“Hunter, are you alright hun?” I called out, trying to relieve his pain. He laid there, still as stone, despite my attempts to quell his discomfort. Why isn’t he moving? Why isn’t he accepting my help?

Finally, after much confusion and frustration, it hit me. Hunter did not want his strength, even his four-year old strength, to be threatened by exposing weakness. Just moments after I had given up my useless efforts, Hunter simply sat up, slid off of the chair, and opened his toybox, along with my eyes. I was mystified and impressed all at once. This courage, this strength to overcome any weakness, this endurance that burns within every male, this is what I believe in. Such an insignificant act of an unknowing boy, has deeply branded it’s mark upon my perception of a man’s strength.

From boyhood to manhood, the impeccable differences between men and women are undeniable. Boys don’t play house. They don’t try to nurture plastic baby dolls with fake bottles. A girl would have never hidden her pain in fear of showing her vounerablity. It does not mean that females are weak, not in the least. Women have immense strength, but in completely different ways and for entirely different reasons.

I believe in the strength within every man. Unlike women, with a more tender disposition, a man’s fierceness gives him power and respect. If not abused, such power can be harnessed into fuel. Fuel for a fire that will ignite a leader. It’s the presence of this authority that women need, we rely on it. I believe that from this fire, our endurance ascends like sparks, and as women, we draw our protection.