Monday, May 19, 2014

Random Comment on the Subject of Toughness

Yesterday I gave a talk about toughness and how easily it can slip into nihilism. I'm not at all sure I succeeded in communicating my thesis. But the ferment of discussion that followed rang with success. People talked about toughness versus endurance and toughness versus strength. Physical and mental anguish fell into contrast. Further anxieties appeared as we viewed toughness through the prism of gender. Toughness as a subject has emotional depths shadowy and difficult for us to plumb, and many of these lie hidden behind shallow images both projected and assumed. A tricky place! And worth exploring.


  1. Toughness is indeed a balance to maintain-- endurance, strength-- all of it really depend on the person and the odds.

  2. Sometimes it's good to ask, "What has toughness done for me lately?"