“You try the impossible to achieve the unusual.” ~Floyd Patterson, American boxer and youngest ever Undisputed Heavyweight Champion
When I was a kid, I went to the same church in New Paltz, New York as Floyd Patterson. He was an usher who collected the weekly offering and every week I wondered how someone so kind and gentle could punch someone in the face for a living. I would watch for some sign in his personality that he could even swat a fly. I never saw one; he was known as a quintessential gentleman by everyone in our small community.
He was very elegant and graceful with a broad and beautiful smile. He never sat. Instead, he always stood in the back of the church. I remember thinking he was rather small for a boxer with teeth that seemed too perfect for someone who had such a successful career in the boxing ring.
In those years, Floyd Patterson helped me understand that people are very complex creatures. With his example, I couldn’t and wouldn’t judge anyone through a one-dimensional lens. From him I learned that what we do isn’t all that we are. There is always more to us than meets the eye.