PRAUS: Strength Under Control
I was having a conversation with my mom regarding the use of the lion as the main aspect of the logo for Littauer Strength Training. Admittedly, it comes from the following clip from Pool Hall Junkies, which I thought was a very accurate depiction of what it means to be strong. You see, I've always found that the most incredible feat of strength was never having to use it. That's right. Being strong for the sake of not having to use it unless absolutely necessary.
When I told this to my mom, her immediate thought went to Matthew 5:5. This is the verse in Jesus' "Sermon On The Mount" in which Jesus' says,
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth."
My mom, who spends a lot of time studying these types of things, pointed out that most thought that Jesus meant that humble people or weak people would inherit the Earth in end times (though humility and weakness are not necessarily related). However, when I went to dig deeper into what my mom was talking about, it turns out that the book of Matthew used the Greek word Praus in Matthew 5:5.
Praus (adj): meek; power under authority
In it's original Greek, Praus apparently was used to describe war horses who had been tamed or prepared for war. To be praus is to be capable of great power, but responsibly wielding that power for a greater good.
This is where strength comes in. We train for strength. We train for power. If you're an athlete, the goal is to display that power on the field. If you are the everyday adult, then this means being capable at any moment. But we want to be like the lion. We want to be dangerous, and yet only have to show our capabilities when absolutely necessary. To display our power to protect the things we hold dear and close. To pursue those who might prey upon the weak. We aim for praus.
Another way to sum this up, is with a quote from modern psychologist Jordan Peterson. When interviewed on the Jocko Podcast, Peterson stated (in regards to the changing climate of making men safe),
"A good man is not a safe man. A good man is a dangerous man who has that side of him under voluntary control."
A good man (or woman), is one who is capable of great strength yet has that power kept under wraps and under their own will power. It is not abused, nor is it flaunted. It merely is.
The pursuit of a Stronger Future depends on this. It depends on those who display praus.