Jorge watched me get ready to prepare coffee in the French press. As I added dark roast beans to the electric grinder, my friend asked me to add a few more because he craved extra caffeine. I also ran the grinder a little longer so the grind would be more powdery. After allowing the coffee to steep longer, I poured Jorge’s portion over heated milk–the way he prefers to have it served.
“¡Perfección! This is what I call strong coffee.” I knew his compliment was especially sincere because of his reflexive Spanish exclamation.
My semi-truck driving friend is a strong man, physically and mentally. His strength is necessary in his line of work. Jorge’s strength of character is not only manifested in the way he wants his coffee, but it comes through in his personality. Jorge’s character is enhanced with just the right amount of machismo. There’s no mistaking his masculinity, but that masculinity is not intimidating nor offensive. His demeanor lies in his determination, personal power, and inner strength.
One of the reasons I admire Jorge is that he has such confidence so that doubts and challenges don’t stand a chance with him. He grew up in Los Angeles in a rough neighborhood where it wasn’t cool to be Hispanic and gay. Because he managed to coexist with the thugs and bullies head-on, Jorge earned their respect. They pretty much left him alone. They knew better than to underestimate his invisible power. I also believe this is how Jorge’s charm and charisma evolved.
He is one of those rare people who is a steadfast, loyal supporter who will never deny being your friend. Weakness of loyalty is not in his mental toolbox. He is an ethical giant who has often stepped up to be present for people who need help and encouragement even if they are not close friends.
Part of Jorge’s allure is that people can see he possesses raw, animal instincts but he has tamed them so they’re below the surface. He has learned to be conscious of his natural instinctual human urges and to balance them with his strong desire to act with the “greater good” in mind. He is a man who combines compassion and strength to make him irresistible.
I don’t write about Jorge in order to place him on a pedestal; that would embarrass him. I mention him because of his strengths. He is a person who seemingly has high levels of self-confidence, self-respect, and physical strength. My pal knows he possesses these qualities, but he never brags about them nor feels the need to show them off. After spending a few minutes with Jorge, new acquaintances detect his strength by observing his posture and sincere smile.
Jorge has managed to convert the former rag-tag formative years of his youth into a pleasantly strong adult who people can trust and count on. Everyone should have a friend like Jorge.