"We are weak," Dan said. "We are weak for alcohol. Just like white people are weak for owning things." He turned to me. "But those weaknesses are gifts, just like our strengths are gifts. Weaknesses make us strong, because they make us stand up to ourselves."
Source: Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads With an Indian Elder, Pages: 156
It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.
I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.
Ordinary people, even weak people, can do extraordinary things through temporary courage generated by a situation. But the person of character does not need the situation to generate his courage. It is a part of his being and a standard approach to all life's challenges.