Tough Guy

“It doesn’t take much strength to pull a trigger, but try getting up every morning, day after day and work for a living. Let’s see him try that! Then we will see who’s the real tough guy. The working man is the tough guy.” Those statements from Robert Di Niro (as Lorenzo in The Bronx Tale to his son) ages like fine wine.

There is the sentiment or misconception that the tough guy is the bully, gangster or criminal.

Let’s pause and do something unusual. Do you Remember Aniefiok? PRODA’s graphics designer of course. While discussing the post with him, I told him of the image I wanted for the post, and he remarked: “What a contradiction!”

Back to our discourse.

Is it really a contradiction that the tough guy is the man who puts in the work and breaks his back just to feed his family? The tough guy cannot be the guy who hangs around the street waiting to rob someone of his hard-earned money.

Psychology has made us understand that the exhibition of what we term as “tough” is only a defence mechanism for the inherit weakness in the man. That means when a weak person doesn’t want to be seen as weak, he acts tough till it becomes part of him. He is not the tough guy.

Let me show you who the tough guy is:

The tough guy is that nurse who won’t leave till the last patient is attended to; the tough guy is that bus driver who has to pay all the taxes and levies yet still pays his daughter’s school fees; the tough guy is that entrepreneur who didn’t make any profit but won’t give up on his dreams; the tough guy is that teacher who does more than what the government pays her for; the tough guy is that salesgirl who is saving her little salaries just to enroll for a skill; the tough guy is that upcoming artist doing free shows.

The working man is the tough guy.

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