My little mum is 5’2″, petite and a real dynamo. You didn’t want to get on the wrong side of her as she could cut you down to size, pumble you and spit you out before you knew what was happening. She had an amazing way to tell you off, and have you realise you had done wrong, but she could do it with the face of an angel. Because she could do it so nicely, so gently, it unsettled even the biggest and toughest of men.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

The Hells Angels bikie gang decided that our Fish & Chip shop was going to be their Fish & Chip shop on Saturdays. They would all ride up and flood the place inside and out. They used to intimidate people all around. And when they poured into our little shop, there was standing room only…every other customer had fled….and still more remained outside waiting their turn to order.

And there’s my Mum, my little mum, who looked straight into the eyes of the first guy to order. She spoke in the gentlest voice, almost a whisper, and just to him, “Honey, I turn deaf and can’t hear what you want to order when you boys all are swearing so much. We’ve got some beautiful fresh fish and crisp chips just waiting for you but I can’t hear what you need.

He paused, turned and in a gruff, but authoritive voice called for quiet, explained my mum’s dilemma and commanded they comply. Silence. He turned back and in the most polite voice, placed his order, with please and thankyou attached.

My mum taught me that when you have to raise your voice in an argument, you have already lost it.

Good advice, great mum.