Weaker Link (A Prose Piece)

paper-boats

I was recently at a Toastmasters contest where there were several talks on how to be strong, how to muscle your way through bad times, even disasters and to make something of yourself. I’m here to tell you the opposite – that sometimes, you need to be weak to be mortal and to feel that you’re human. Mortality is not measured by your strengths but by your vulnerabilities that makes us uniquely human.

I was always a weak member of the male tribe. They categorize me as a beta male. Unlike the alpha males in herds who reign the members of the troupe. I’ve never had confidence oozing out like toothpaste or spurting like coconut water. I was always shy, anxious and feeling insecure on how society judges me. I was a weakling who followed an undergraduate degree and PhD and postponed his arrival at the cut throat work arena for a long time. Even with women, I had no luck. I was the ugly duckling who couldn’t grow wings, the beast who couldn’t find Belle. I labored on to where I’m now and thanks to Sri LankaMatrimony.Com, I finally met a woman who reciprocated my feelings and that was both miraculous and gave me all the rituals and rites of passage I needed.

Confidence is difficult for an anxious person. When I think of a good event in my life, I always wonder when the bad event would come. I’m so pessimistic that I had to rehearse a lot of kisses before I kissed my wife, who was then my girl-friend. When I had to do my first public speech, I was a mess, doing a lot of drama in front of a sink. Still kiss or speech, I went forward and found out that being weak doesn’t stop you from achieving your goals, personal or professional.

I’m weak I will always be that. Now I look forward to the adventures that await me. Maybe a speech at a conference or carrying my new born. Either way, I know I will stutter, agonize but move forward. I don’t jump over my hurdles because of my strengths but because I need to face life and my fears, to be the man I want to be – someone of humble success, equilibrated by home and professional lives and a being who will have a near tripartite perfection in man, woman and child. I don’t need a perfect CV, I don’t need a perfect wife, I don’t need perfect offspring, I just need to be perfect in my abilities to be my own weakling.

And one day, when I’m weak in my bones and have a weak heart I will always remember my weakest moments or those milestones in life – Proposing to my wife, Marrying my wife, Holding my newborn and perhaps looking at my wife as her soul is set adrift from her body. You only remember the weak points at the end, after all that is what makes us mortal. We are only weak as the fear of losing what we have close to us. And love is the weakest link, when you feel an aching heart vulnerable in every form. That weakness is what makes us tick and thrive.

I will always be an ugly duckling who will never become a swan, but I will never be a quack in strength. I’m proud of who I am. The beta, who never wants to be an alpha. The giant who just wants to be gentle. The man who wants his Achilles’ heel in his heart and polio in his knees. A man who will not be known for his strength but for his vulnerability. To be weak, to be the servant, to be the slave, to be the serf, to be the subordinate of that beautiful sacrament called mortality.

 

 

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Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld. wordpress.com/

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