The following character is not so easy to describe in a single word, yet one can get good at spotting him. He is strong, tough, courageous, brave, properly proud, free-spirited, lighthearted, dispassionate, hearty, lively, enlivened, thumatic, vibrant, bursting with life, ‘crazy,’ wild, bloodthirsty, full-throated and big-hearted, ruthlessly committed to discovering the truth, occasionally enraged or outrageous, a lover of pain for the sake of the Good, quiet in such a unique way of ‘being quiet,’ full of bold laughter not least when it comes to himself and his own faults, a risk-taker based on reason, someone who lusts to stake himself to what is grand, a maker of challenges beyond all imagination, a generous spirit, a figure of exhilaration not flowing from imprudent acts, a being antipathetic to creaturely comforts, a rollicky yet self-controlled person, preternaturally cheerful especially amid tension and extra pressure.
The tough person is not at all meek or soft but all stoutness, openness, intense flexibility, fierce agility. What made him so? Hard to say. Surely at least: adversity but, more notably, his facing up to adversity. But surely not that exactly either. Facing up to it by thinking hard about it and by adapting in ways that overcome that particular kind of adversity. Overcome, though, not by forcing his way through like a dumb bulldozer but by making that form of adversity either obsolete or under his control. Increasing pressures withstood. Aching surprises responded to with alertness and agility, with a warm tranquility. Muscular flexibility. Mental power akin to casuistry. Thinking slowly, very slowly, and acting surely and quickly like a lightning bolt.