637. The Situation Selects the Man

… Weapons and provisions are illusions, and do not make a man or a people strong:  only strong character can do this.  Yet hardship has a way of raising up men of good character to leadership positions.  During times of peace and quiescence, men of great character and leadership ability are often passed over or hidden away.  Their talents and abilities are rarely appreciated by those who know only comfort and security.  When we neglect men of talent, character, and masculine virtue, and exalt the incapable, the corrupt, the venal, and the incompetent, we put our very security at risk.  But in times of crisis, everything can change.  The situation selects the man; and the man masters the situation through force of will.

– Quintus Curtius