Tough is always considered better than Weak. I was also taught that anyone can be tough. And I honestly believed that. Till I started thinking otherwise. I believe in Darwin’s theory or evolution… I don’t believe in any other story… but when you look at our human life from a survival of the fittest point of view I always feel it to be very narrow and self centered and not thinking about the larger community. So Toughness has many layers for me. We are on a 4 day Quote Analysis process… and today’s quote is “When the going gets tough the tough gets going”
I was trying to remember where I first heard this quote… I think I heard it when I first listened to Zig Ziglar Speak in 1995. But Looks like the quote is attributed to different people and also appears in the lyrics of a Billy Ocean’s song. The central theme of the quote from what I understand is that if the times are bad and we have to face adversities the people who are tough will be able to weather through it.
There is a slight problem with that assessment in the current world. What does tough really mean. In olden days may be tough meant strong. But for me that also feels kind of inflexible in a way… too rigid may be…. rigidity is difficult when the going gets tough today…
Today the phrase ‘going gets tough’ means having to navigate unknowns, uncertainties… ambiguity…. That is the real tough… I am not saying there are no other tough things that need strength… Let us take our current situation of the Pandemic. What is Tough..? it is the unpredictability… And who is tough at this time.. Is it the strong person? No.. it is not…
There are so many factors including age, our current medical condition, our employment status, our skills, the industry we work in… And to face the situation we have to be tough as a community and it is not just an individual. And this is exactly where I have issues with the Darwinian outlook that injects into our social fabric… All the factors I mentioned above is not about individual situations and the survival of the fittest attitude just makes us weak as a species.
If people, nations, communities and ideologies and politics… all had not collaborated we would not be here talking about Pandemic like the worse of it is over… So yes When the going gets tough the tough gets going.. But for me the tough is the community and not the individual..
If you want to still be thinking individualistically we have to reframe tough as flexible, adaptable, agile, considerate and community friendly… Not the lone warrior who will survive alone and then later perish alone….
Note: Now you can listen to the audio version of my blogs on the Penpositive Outclass Podcast on Google, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Check it out and new episodes uploaded every day 4 AM Pacific Standard Time