This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending TEDxPortland, which had the topic of “Perfect”. The line-up of speakers was truly breathtaking. The experience in the room ranged from designing the Jordan brand shoes at Nike, to leaving a sure thing as a CEO to open a start up, to turning your life around from being a felon into a thriving member of society, to being Macklemore. These are all people that I could talk about as impactful, brilliant, and even life-changing. However, I want to talk about Frank Moore, and the perfection of love.
Before he even came on stage, people were talking about the power of his love. Lisa Sedlar, a brilliant entrepreneur, noted that she saw Frank and his wife holding hands backstage and was astounded by the open, honest, and genuine love she saw, joking “maybe I’ll find that in my next marriage.”
Frank is 91-years-old. He is an avid fly-fisher. But there is much more to Moore. He was in the army as a young man, fighting in WWII. He survived Normandy, and fought many of the big battles we talk about in history classes. He was part of the liberation of Dachau. He has been married for more than 75 years.
As Frank spoke I was completely captivated. He provided a window into history, but more than that, he provided a window into love. Maybe it’s because I, like many of you, have divorced parents, or maybe it’s because I think love is the world’s most powerful emotion, but there is nothing in this world that I love more than an old couple that is still deeply in love. Hearing Frank describe his life I don’t think he ever used the word I, it was always we. After war, the death of a child, and more, he maintained that the greatest gift he has ever received were the words “I Do.”
Frank was free with with his emotions. Beaming as he described surprising his young wife upon making it back to the United States after WWII. Struggling to maintain composure as he discussed the child soldiers he encountered, and the emaciated bodies he had seen. Openly crying at the experience of losing a child. This incredible journey documented with the word “we.”
I honestly can’t even begin to express the connection I felt to this man’s story. At one point he said he had too many stories, and to come by for a cup of coffee and he would tell you them. I am seriously thinking about taking him up on that offer. At the end of his talk, his wife came on stage. Their faces immediately light up, and beaming they held hands to a standing ovation from around 3,000 people. After planting one on his beautiful bride, they made their way off stage.
Three Pearls Of Wisdom From Frank Moore:
1. You have to work hard at the art of living
2. Never be afraid of receiving love
3. There is no impossible dream
5 minutes later we were informed that #FrankMoore was one of the top three trending hashtags in North America. Is there anything better or more powerful than love? I don’t think so.