There is so much fear, anger, suspicion and hatred
expressed on social media, in families,
at work, between friends
and in personal thoughts.


It seems as if
the concept of “gentleness”
has disappeared
and is no longer present.

Can gentleness exist
when fear overwhelms
when suspicion transcends reason
when anger rages
when hatred fuels


so that space is created for
hope to filter in
fear to be lightened
hatred to dissipate.

Being gentle does not mean
ignoring the role we can play
being a voice for the voiceless
righting wrongs
challenging principalities and powers
by our words, our thoughts, our actions

Being gentle does mean
speaking in tones and words that don’t threaten
acting in ways that don’t incite
thinking through situations
and listening to the voices
of those who have walked similar paths before us:
Ghandi, Anne Frank
Malala, Martin Luther King Jr.,
Jesus, Elie Wiesel, the Dalai Lama and many others.

Being gentle does mean
not giving power to
hurtful words in personal emails
social media posts
phone calls
snail mail letters
but allowing
those same hurtful words and actions to
… lead us to places we have never been before
… motivate us to write letters to people in powerful positions
… encourage us to be public about our personal views
… propel us to address wrongs in our own community we’ve overlooked or ignored in the past because it was happening to *the other* and not to us; or because we didn’t want to get involved; or because we didn’t think it would make a difference.

Those same hurtful words and actions could become activators
and push us forward so we
… give financial support to organizations who are being threatened
… offer sanctuary in our homes, our cities, our countries
… speak gentle words of strength, courage, steadfastness and conviction
to those who are feeling emotionally paralyzed.

Embodying a life of gentleness could mean much to
individuals, families, communities, countries
and this world.

May we be gentle.




photos & text © june maffin

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