Becoming a Giant

John CroyleSeveral years ago, I was visiting with Charles Barkley in the locker room of the Phoenix Suns. As I turned into the dressing room, I walked into a man’s chest. My eyes were literally even with his sternum. I looked up and recognized it was NBA star Manute Bol, who was a good friend of Charles.

Manute was 7-foot-7-inches tall. It was a strange experience to be in the presence of someone that much taller than me. At 6-foot-6-inches, I am usually the tallest one in the room.

All of us at one time or another have met a physically imposing and intimidating individual as we were growing up and even into adulthood. Over the more than 40 years that we have been raising children at Big Oak Ranch, I have met numerous children who physically were not intimidating, but they had the unshakable and unmistakable characteristics that only giants possess.

These children have shown me what real giants look like. Neither age nor physical stature has anything to do with being a giant. Daily, I still want to imitate them because I have been profoundly impressed by these attributes.

All giants have the following characteristics:

• They are protective. A giant’s first reaction when faced with a threat is to protect those around them, whether it is their spouse, children, friend, etc. Their own well-being comes after everyone else’s.

• They see things others don’t. Giants have the vision to see future consequences of their actions. They also see how those consequences will affect themselves and others, and they make adjustments
where necessary.

• They have and maintain good balance. Having balance is a necessity for a successful life. Giants have an exceptionally strong foundation, and even when knocked down, they get up quickly. They recognize the value of remaining calm no matter what the situation.

• They are unselfish. Giants put others ahead of themselves. Their focus is outward, and they are always looking for ways to help someone else.

• They encourage others to stand on their shoulders. A giant will lift you up when you are down. If you do not have the strength to stand tall, they will be your shoulder to lean on.

• They are humble. Giants have no room in their hearts for arrogance.

•They are consistent. There is no room for a giant to stray from their convictions. They are strong and true 100 percent of the time.

•They are scarred from front-line battles. The world is full of strife and disappointments. Giants are the ones who run toward a battle in order to save others and pull them from the carnage. Giants stand strong during adversity, even if they must stand alone.

•They have a servant’s heart. Giants look for ways to serve others, whether helping someone work through a serious situation, or simply helping a neighbor mow their lawn or cooking dinner for someone who has lost a loved one. Whatever they do, they are always helping others.

If I ask your children to describe you, would they call you a giant? Do these characteristics describe you? If not, it’s never too late to make changes in your life. Nearly all of us of us can do anything if we want to do it bad enough.

There is a giant inside all of us. The simple truth is we choose whether we want to become one of not. If you need to change the way you’re living, then do it. You can become a giant. It’s up to you.



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