To some, the word tough casts a misconception. Some see it as a chest-thumping trait that is brash, arrogant, and intimidating. But when we stop and think about it, we find that it is anything but.
Toughness is not barbaric, cruel, or sadistic. It is a quiet and subtle, yet strong inner resolve that often gets mistaken for weakness by those that view tough in a negative light. Toughness is not an overt trait easily seen, at first glance. It is something that is hidden until it is needed.
Mustang at Social Sense has an essay that looks at the toughness of people throughout history and laments the lack of it, in western society today.
Give it a read, when you get a chance.