Delphic Maxim 89 - Do Not Depend on Strength
Βιας μη εχου
|Approximate (phonetic) transliteration||Vias me ekhoy|
|Typical translation||Do Not Depend on Strength|
I had originally planned for this is be a lot longer. Hurricane Sandy already made this a day late, so I'm posting what I have. This Maxim is pretty self-explanatory, anyway.
When the translation says "strength," it is referring to physical force, not "strength of mind" or something equally abstract.
"Βιας" comes from "Βια," the personification of force and violence. She, her brother Ζηλος (Zelos - personification of zeal), her brother Κρατος (Kratos - personification of strength), and her sister Νικη (Nike - personification of victory) are the winged enforcers of Zeus who stood by his throne in Olympos (source).
You may have heard of the latter two.
Brians Over Brawn
There are those who can accomplish a lot without needing physical strength. Nearly every crime drama on TV has detectives who piece a puzzle together and apprehend a criminal without needing much, if any, brute force. Although I still think Spencer Reid of Criminal Minds is a little unrealistic, he's a good example of "brains over brawn."
The bad guys show this trait, too. Heisenberg/Walter White of Breaking Bad built a meth empire using strategy and guile. He didn't fight people. He convinced other people to kill for him without taking any risk himself, such as with Gale Boetticher.
Work Smarter, not Harder.
We've all have heard this platitude, too. This Maxim doesn't say to never use strength, just not to depend on it.
In Predator, Dutch (or as everyone actually calls him: Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a great example of this. No human being could defeat the Predator in hand to hand combat, and a team of heavy weapons experts couldn't out-gun him, either.
Dutch had to use his mind to out-think the Predator. He covered himself in cool mud to cloak himself from the Predator's heat-seeking targeting system. He used his surroundings to set traps. He couldn't depend on his strength in the fight itself, but he was able to use it to move logs into position, ultimately crushing the Predator under them.
Odysseus is the classic example of this Maxim. After nine years of fighting in the Trojan War, the Greeks were not able to use brute strength to conquer the Trojans.
Instead, Odysseus thought to build what we now call the Trojan Horse. The Greeks hid inside the horse. After being brought inside the walls of Troy, the Greeks launched their attack from horse, killing many drunk Trojans in the night and ultimately sacking Troy.
A modern, non-fiction example of Delphic Maxim 89 is Les Stroud of Survivorman. I can write entire articles about how many different ways Les Stroud is awesome. I'm pretty sure Survivorman is my favorite TV show. I think all the episodes might still be on Netflix if you have an account.
Les survives in terrible situations on terrible terrain for a week at a time. He builds a fire; builds a shelter; forages, traps, fishes, and hunts for food; and tries to either hike back to civilization or create a signal fire.
Over the course of the week, he eats and drinks very little and can sometimes become weak. In certain climates, he can't risk overexerting himself or sweating. This means that in a survival situation, depending on strength is a Bad Idea. Rely more on cunning, and use strength to execute a plan. Relying on nothing but strength is how a survivalist dies.
I seriously love Survivorman. This has been my avatar at one point: