“The Strong Do As They Can, While the Weak Suffer as They Must.” – The Athenians to the Melians prior to annihilating their colony.
These Ancient words were written in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. The Athenians went to the Melians seeking an alliance against the Spartans with an ultimatum – side with us or we burn your city to the ground, kill all your men, and enslave your women and children. The Melians declined, thinking that Sparta would provide them with protection. The Athenian army then raised the city, burnt everything, raped and enslaved the women, and killed every adult male.
Thucidydes’s warning is this: the choice to maintain high ideals can only be protected by strength. This can also be applied to your life. The amount of freedom you have is directly dependent on the amount of strength you have – physically, financially, and mentally. Strength is not an attribute, it is a choice. You choose to be strong or you choose to be weak. If you choose weakness, your life will never be in your control.
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