NOTE: I recently shared a quotation I remember from my childhood on twitter: “It is the weak who are cruel; only the strong can be truly gentle.” After being grossly misunderstood, I went back to my notebooks and dug up the interpretation. I hope it clears it up, but I’m not holding my breath, and I don’t really care either. It’s just a nice tidbit of wisdom to share, so here goes.
“True strength and weakness isn’t about ability to hurt others, but ability to heal others. It’s not about the ability to lift weights, but to lift spirits. It’s not about ability to control others, but to inspire others.
“And once you understand that, once you internalize this lesson, you will never look upon strength and weakness, cruelty and gentleness, the same way again.
“If someone is cruel, it is only because they are emotionally, spiritually, and morally weak. It is the weak who are cruel. Whoever tries to control others, possess them, arm-bend them to do his bidding, is only betraying his moral weakness. He is cruel because he is weak.
“And similarly, if someone is gentle, it is because they are morally strong. It is the strong who are truly gentle. Whoever can inspire others to greatness shows immense strength. He is gentle because he is strong.
“And hence we say, it is the weak who are cruel. Only the strong can be truly gentle.”