Where You Can Find True Strength

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readFeb 10, 2024

Trust me — the answer is counterintuitive.

Photo by Stephane LEGRAND: https://www.pexels.com/photo/james-dean-monument-in-hollywood-13831171/

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

James Dean was an iconic actor whose brief but impactful career left an indelible mark on popular culture. Dean gained popularity in the 1950s in movies like “Rebel Without a Cause,” “East of Eden,” and “Giant.” He became a symbol of rebellion and disillusionment, embodying the angst and restlessness of post-war American youth.

Dean’s brooding intensity, coupled with his charisma and talent, captured the imagination of audiences. Despite appearing in only three major films before his untimely death in a car accident at the age of 24, his legacy endures. He remains a cultural icon, revered for his contributions to cinema, and remembered as a symbol of revolution and authenticity.

James Dean’s impact continues to resonate, influencing generations of actors and inspiring fans. His quote –

“Only the gentle are ever really strong.”

- preaches a concise sermon about the nature of strength and character.

At first glance, the statement might seem paradoxical, as people usually associate strength with traits like power, dominance, or aggression. However, Dean’s words challenge this conventional wisdom, suggesting true might lies in tenderness.

In a world defined by competition and conflict, gentleness sometimes gets perceived as a weakness. Yet, Dean suggests it takes strength to embrace gentleness rather than to succumb to forcefulness.

Photo by Robbie Down on Unsplash

Gentleness requires patience, empathy, and restraint — qualities that demand inner strength and discipline. It entails the ability to remain calm and composed amidst chaos and show compassion and understanding when others resort to anger or aggression.

Moreover, gentleness fosters deeper connections with others. It enables us to listen intently, communicate effectively, and build trust and rapport. In relationships, gentleness spawns harmony and mutual respect…



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com