By now you’ve heard of Antoinette Tuff. She’s the elementary school bookkeeper in Decatur, Georgia, who prevented a school massacre on August 20, by talking to the young disturbed gunman. If you haven’t heard the 24-minute recording of her 911 call, you can listen to it here on this YouTube video:
The second half is especially amazing, and I was wiping my eyes by the end. I keep saying that people who speak the truth from their hearts, and share it, will help to heal the world. This is a real example of that.
What she said followed what I call “The Five S’s”:
1. She was Spiritual. Two days before, her pastor had preached a sermon about being grounded with the Lord. Monday and Tuesday morning, she did that grounding prayer before starting her day.
2. She was Story-based. She told the gunman about her husband leaving her, that she had considered committing suicide when that happened, and that she had a disabled child. She also told him that she had been able to rise above those thoughts and prosper.
3. She was Selfless. She cared about his well-being, telling him he didn’t have to die that day, and that she would stand in front of him when the police came in so they wouldn’t shoot him.
4. She was Sincere. She meant every word she said. She started off calling him “sir,” but ended up with “baby.” She told him she loved him.
5. She was Skilled. Tuff was one of three people in the front office who had taken training about dealing with guns in the school.
By being her best, heart-centered self, Antoinette Tuff literally changed the world. The gunman never got to kill anyone with his AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition. We didn’t have young children and teachers losing their lives. We didn’t have yet another round of media frenzy over a tragedy.
But she also changed the course of the conversation about preventing violence. After the Sandy Hook shooting, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA famously said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Antoinette Tuff is a good woman who didn’t have a gun. And she prevented a massacre.
This is what is possible when good people share what is deep in their hearts. We’re all capable of greatness. Can you imagine how the world might change if we’re all willing to fully be our best selves?
I’d love to hear what you think! (To access the comments section, click on the article title, and comments will appear at the bottom.)
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What does it mean to speak from your soul? Click this link to access your free report and a “Soul-sheet” to help you tell your story.