The dwarf and the poet

How to be true to who you really are

Have you ever met a dwarf, or a good spirit? Let me tell you about this one.

Every farm, maybe every place needs one. For the farm where I currently stay, it is Hans-Oskar. He is a neighbour, in his sixties, small, with white hair and beard and a pot belly, just like a proper dwarf. Every other day he materialises, and whatever problem he finds, he solves. He mostly maintains the old tractors. He is not paid and was never asked for help but his assistance has become crucial.

Then again, like a proper dwarf, he’s a bit weird. Comes into the kitchen without knocking, eats without washing his hands, makes jokes that nobody laughs about. But he is very kind. Turns out that he owns three guitars and plays them all, and because I wanted to make some music, he lent me one.

It was Midsommar last weekend and he was invited for coffee and later for dinner. At some point he showed me some youtube videos of songs he likes to listen to and plays himself. There was American blues, and there were Mexican Rancheras. I was impressed.

Later in the evening he made music himself. It’s a bit weird to hear “Bed of Roses” sung by a white-haired pot-bellied dwarf with a deep Finnish accent, but it fit well into the whole atmosphere. He also sang “You raise me up” (Yooh raas mee upp), first in English and then in Swedish. We sat around the dinner table and joined in a bit, and when he had finished, we clapped.

I asked him who wrote the Swedish part. He said he had done it himself.

I asked: So you are not only a musician, but even a poet!

You know what he said: Yes! And everybody laughed. Because especially here in Sweden it is common to dismiss it if somebody makes a compliment. Everybody expected him to say: Oh no, I am not a poet, I am not even good in poetry, this is just amateur stuff… Instead he was true to what he did and what he was complimented for.

That is very important and very healthy. It might seem modest to reject it if somebody says we did something well or we look good or we have a special talent. But we need to acknowledge our abilities, too.

Are you up for a challenge?

Next time, when somebody says that you look beautiful, just say Thank You! Next time, when somebody admires your work, don’t tell them that it’s nothing or that it could be better. Say Thank You. Next time when somebody says that you are not only an insurance agent but also a chef, not only a mother but also a magician, not only a mechanic but also a songwriter – don’t dismiss it. Say yes! Like the dwarf who honours his talents. It feels really good!

Will you? Let us know in the comments below!

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