The weakest link

Do you guys know the saying “You’re only as strong as your weakest link”? The origin of this saying probably has something do with the fact that it’s actually true…if a chains weakest link isn’t strong enough, then it will break, and the chain will become practically useless. The man who is most widely known for giving this fact a figurative meaning in the english language is named Thomas Reid. In 1786 he wrote “Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man” and it included this line – “In every chain of reasoning, the evidence of the last conclusion can be no greater than that of the weakest link of the chain, whatever may be the strength of the rest.”

He’s not the only one who attempted to use the Philosophy. Charles Kingsley, a priest at the Church of England, a university professor, social reformer, historian and novelist during the mid to late 19th century, wrote in a letter dated 12/1/1856 “The devil is very busy, and no one knows better than he that nothing is stronger than its weakest part.”

Cornhill Magazine published an article in 1868 that contained this tidbit:  “A chain is no stronger than its weakest link; but if you show how admirably the last few are united … half the world will forget to the security of the … parts which are kept out of sight.” Which is probably the best analogy for todays USA.

There are people who believe it came from the bible, or that it came from a Latin Proverb…however it appears that the only proverb that is remotely similar to this is a Basque saying;  “Haria meheenean eten ohi da” which translates into “A thread usually breaks from where it is thinnest.”

In any case, it’s backed up by everyone for the most part. Undisputed…

So why then do we not apply this ideology to our world, and society? Our social financial environment has 3 classes, maybe 4. Poor, lower middle class, upper middle class, and ridiculously rich. But sadly, it’s turning out that the worlds middle class is disappearing. It’s turning out to be poor, or rich, and still some people in the middle holding on.

In India, there are Billionaires living in 30 story skyscrapers with 4 Olympic swimming pools, literally overlooking piles of people living in garbage, with sewage all over the place. The average Indian citizen has a very hard time getting fresh clean water…even the clean water that they do gets dirty when they’re putting in the truck. They’re literally drinking human feces in most cases.

Multiple countries across the world still don’t have electricity or running water. They don’t have access to any medical care at all. Disease and famine run through these places like water should be.

In America, it’s a little different, and a little bit easier to ignore. We do have the same problems, but we can ignore it without much of a problem – Kids in the suburbs living less than a half hour outside of any major city are getting new computers, modern books, teachers that care, transportation to school, good lunches, music programs etc….inner city schools on the other hand are a whole different beast. They get no computers, no books, teachers that don’t even remotely care about the students, if they even get teachers at all to fill their programs. They get lunches that basically consist of Doritos and small milk, and parents that are working so hard to make ends meet that they can’t even watch their child grow up.

So with all these highly educated people running the world, why is it that we continue to treat the citizens of the world which such disrespect? If we hooked up our chain to hold a  single page out of a book we wouldn’t be able to hold on because of too many interpretations of the first sentence.

It’s because our leaders don’t want to work together…they want the people, and the world to be divided…but why? One argument is money…war and disagreements bring money in ways of weapon sales, stock market manipulation etc. Another argument is discrimination…and I don’t mean black vs white (though recently that has been an issue). I’m talking about our world leaders thinking that they deserve to have the money, and that people born in certain situations aren’t worthy of their resources. Nobody will dispute that most of our world leaders lived very good childhoods. And with that fortunate childhood comes a world view, and all the perks of life.

I believe that our weakest link is astronomically weak. They’re uneducated, hungry, desperate, broke, and helpless. While they’re extremely resilient, and have hearts of gold, the weaker links are looked down at by the stronger links….they don’t care if there’s a shorter chain holding their country…they may not even care if it holds it at all. They don’t have to deal with consequences, because the stronger links will simply join together to form a stronger chain…while the weakest links will scatter and try to create a very, very long chain with weak links.

While physics may prove that a longer chain with weak links will hold just as much weight as a short chain with stronger links…the weaker links need more distance from the ceiling to the ground to be able to hold the equivalent amount of weight…and I’m afraid that there isn’t enough room for that amount of links.

If we consider the ground to be a tipping point for our worlds well being….the few strong links will be able to hold their weight and maintain their resources to weather the storm…while the longer chain with weaker links will have to go past the tipping to point to even feel the weight that they’re supposed to lift. Meaning, for our less prosperous citizens, it’s going to be too late before they can actually do anything. The weight will go through the ground before we actually have the ability, or opportunity to hold it.

My point is, that younger generations need to come together to form a long chain, with strong links. We now have enough of the world population to come together and speak up against our leaders. We need to form our chains,  before we are required to lift any weight whatsoever. It’s too late for the less fortunate of the older generations, their links are rusted, and won’t hold much…but it’s not too late for our future. We are brand new well made links, just off the assembly line. We have the ability to hold more weight than any strong chain that’s been used for a while. With our education, technology, and moral standings (millennials are the only generation that usually won’t complete work related tasks because of their moral standings), we can accomplish greater things than our founding fathers could have ever dreamed of. Instead of having a great country, we could have a great planet.


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