The Strongest Man In The World!
My father weighed a whopping 140 lbs., soaking wet; but to the day he died, he still held the world title for tongue holding! I remember how my six siblings and I caused him frustration many times, but he could always pull out that terrible awful threat: “If I come over there – I won’t be over here!” That was the one that he would use to deflate a ‘tattler’. What could you say after that? He had an uncanny knack for giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, for trying to imagine the fit of the other person’s shoes before kicking them. And we kids were paying attention. We should never underestimate the amount of absorption that a child is capable of. Be aware of the little eyes that are looking up at us, and taking in our every word and gesture. There were times when dad’s philosophy stretched a little too generously, however - times when mom would roll her eyes as dad would start finding excuses for bosses who took advantage of his patience and his tender heart. We all have, within us, those qualities of tenderness, patience, desire to excel, and the longing for and treasuring of love and acceptance. Keeping these qualities in proper perspective, is another test of strength. Being the nice guy is great when it comes from a sincere heart; however we also need to retain an honest appreciation of our own worth; or we are only wearing a nice-looking mask. If that mask comes with a price tag that costs you your integrity, then everyone will be poorer for it, including the person that you are trying to be nice to, and those little ones, watching, and learning about life. It takes courage to play the ‘tough guy’ and to respectfully tell someone that their behavior is unacceptable or harmful to themselves or to others. That courage starts calling to us at a very young age, when the decision is there: Should I join that cool ‘put down’ group in the school yard, or choose as friends, the ones who have enough confidence to be really cool – the nice guys – on their way to becoming the truly strong people in this world!