“I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.” Leo Rosen
“As the aperture of your heart opens to love you will receive more of the light of compassion, acceptance, gentleness, grace and understanding.” Bryant McGill
We underestimate the power of gentleness. It is the only strength that can move or alter the strongest person. It is so simple and unassuming that it flows to others without being noticed. I think that is why it yields so much power. Where force exhibits outward strength, gentleness permeates an atmosphere with peace and calmness.
The odd thing is we admire power and fear it yet we overlook meekness and disdain it in ourselves. It certainly isn’t a quality we want to brag about. Many will tell of their prowess and about those they vanquished. Few spread word about their times exhibiting kindness and mildness. Somehow virtues such as these have been relegated to the background of our lives.It takes boldness to overcome in sports. it takes force to defeat the enemy in war. It takes power to lead in government. It takes potency to gain others trust to follow. Might gets others out-of-the-way and might keeps them down. Vigor and intensity keep the general population in control so that the mighty and the bold may have their own way.
So how about gentleness? Perhaps when we hear that word we think of mothers taking care of their children. Most of us would agree on this picture. I guess that is why we view it so infrequently. It is not considered a quality to be acquired. It is one we just about conceal. We really shouldn’t be confused about why we have so much bullying going on. We appear to be surprised and we have committees and rules established just to stop it. The easy remedy is more practicing of gentleness. Most likely if we began an insurgence of praise for kindness, we might find less bullying.
Establishing and reviewing our guidelines for living would immediately teach us something about ourselves, we would rather not know. It is easier to pretend we don’t get something than it is to understand what is being said and then have to put it into practice. If we don’t see ourselves as bullies we won’t have to correct our behavior and make changes in ourselves.
If that be the case we can forget all the talk about bullying and toughen our kids up to face the real world. That is exactly what bullies do when they hurt and demean kids. I am always for discipline but not the hurtful kind of discipline. When we instruct it should be teaching the understanding of the dilemma. That takes a bit more time but the lesson is grasped on a more profound level. The child is less apt to make the same mistake because they understand the idea we have been attempting to explain.
By being kind to each other the world is an easier place to live in. I know of one group of people who are almost self-contained from the rest of the world and living near the general population. They are almost self-contained and in many ways conjure feelings of jealousy and envy when you hear about their way of life. They regularly rebuild a home lost in fire within a few days and they keep those neighbors and family members safe in their own homes until the new house is established. No government is needed or called upon. They build homes for marrying couples and frown upon members who deliberately hurt others or offend them in some way. They don’t hurt back but they teach responsibility and accountability.
Kindness is glorified and gentleness is expected towards everyone. It is a caring community and although they have limits on other areas of their lives they are safe and protected and at any given time various members may be called upon to be the heroes and those who are sometimes the givers may become the receivers. There is mutual respect. No person is seen as more important than the next.
I mention this only because it works for them and it negates the necessity to bully anyone. If we all feel good about ourselves there is no need to complain or be defeated. Having a sense of democracy has more to do with espousing everyone’s rights. If one believes in their heart that they are valued and accepted then their opinion of themselves goes up. Likewise it will go down if one feels useless and pointless. In reality we are all needed in the scheme of things. Some of us would be lost without our family members but these people who have little faith in their own worth are never made to realize their significance.
Have you ever noticed the ability of one person to calm others down in a crises situation and get things organized and evolving so that others more qualified about a subject can do their work? How would the issue get resolved in the first place if the original person who calmed everyone was not involved. I am sure this person places little value on their part in the drama yet they were the first catalyst in accomplishing what needed to be done.
Other times during an emergency some people think about a tool that will help or a way to do something quicker. They are not a key person in the scenario yet without them the situation is slowed down. How about the tender and gentle man who manages to talk a person out of a challenging situation. They may have had no tools and no knowledge except for their gentle nature. These are real people. They are you and I who sometimes devalue ourselves.
The importance of accepting our abilities with thankfulness cannot be stated enough. Qualities of calmness, kindness, compassion, gentleness, tolerance, compromising, collaborating, patience and more will do more to solving our bullying problems than all the rules regulations guidelines and consequences they can enforce. Again I see this in a simplistic form. If you want to see manners teach manners and respect. if you want to see bullying teach aggressiveness and praise those who beat down others. If you want to see gentleness, inspire empathy kindness and compassion towards others. Look at it this way. If you sow carrots you don’t get apples. You will always get what you sow.
Maybe we just need to get it straight about what we honestly want to sow. We want grapes but we sow for pumpkins. None of us can blame someone over there for the bullying. It starts with us within our own homes. We can make the difference. We have that power to stop the bullying. We just need to recognize it when we see it. So much pain hurt and frustration will go away if we accept the bullying that is in front of us. It would also make it easier to live our lives without always looking over our shoulder for the next challenging person. A peaceful accepting world has my vote.
“When I look at the clues that indicate the nature of Jesus – born in a barn, questionable parents, spotty ancestry, common name, misdirected announcement, unattractive looks, reared in a bad neighborhood, owning nothing, surrounding himself with unattractive co-workers, and dying a shameful death – I find his whole approach unable to fit into the methods that automatically come to mind when I think about “winning the world.” His whole approach could easily be described as non-threatening or non-manipulative. He seemed to lead with weakness in each step of life. He had nothing in the world and everything in God and the Spirit.” Gayle D. Erwin
“The narrator analyzes that the maturing, passing away boy within him, “had issued me a challenge as he passed the baton to the man in me: He had challenged me to have the courage to become a gentle, harmless man.” Pat Conroy
“Gentleness is not apathy but is an aggressive expression of how we view people. We see people as so valuable that we deal with them in gentleness, fearing the slightest damage to one for whom Christ died. To be apathetic is to turn people over to mean and destructive elements, to truly love people cause for us to be aggressively gentle.” Gayle D. Erwin