There is a guy I know, we call him Big Frank. I met him through my man, they do some work together.
He’s a big guy, probably 120 kilograms. Towering high above me and speaking with a thick American accent, you see him coming a mile away. When he hugs you, you feel tiny (tiny!).
Some may say he’s intimidating to look at.
Until you know him of course. Everyone loves Frank, once they know him.
Because Big Frank is one of those gentle giants.
The first time I met him, he pulled me into a huge bear hug, ruffled my hair and from that moment on has called me baby. You know, in a sweet, giant-man way.
Last winter my man and Big Frank were rehearsing in a music studio in LA. Leaning up against a wall in the hallway during a break, they can hear ACDC rehearsing for an upcoming festival show in a room close by. My guy takes his phone out of his pocket to record a little of the muffled guitar twangs, drum beats and voices that are emanating from the dimly lit room.
And all of a sudden security guards appear from around the corner, launch on them, grabbing the phone and shouting ... all the shouting.
Within a couple of moments, Big Frank stepped in between the men and puts his hands on their shoulders. Colossal in comparison, with his chest puffed up, a moment that many people would use to assert their power, commanding all control at 6’5.
But in a gentle voice he spoke :::
“Excuse me guys, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But I gotta say that I don’t appreciate the way you are speaking to us right now. We are fans and we didn’t know we weren’t supposed to be here. We need to be respectin’ one another.”
And in his softness, and his respect, there was an almost tangible atmospheric shift.
The air softened.
A moment that could have been filled with aggression and ego-wars was dissolved with some gentle words. No blaming, no tempers, no loss of composure. Just truth spoken in a soft way.
A flurry of apologies followed. From everyone to everyone. And then the group broke apart in a space of amity, everyone walking away with no bad blood, only peace.
I often think about the power of this. The truth that there is such strength in softness.
How quickly a situation can be harmonised, when we act from a space of softness, not aggression.
When we act from a space of LOVE, not fear.
I’d love for you to share in the comments any moments that you have experienced the same, the strength in your softness.