A new week is on the horizon.  What will tomorrow – the coming week – bring?

This is a difficult time in the world.  Terrible things are happening in local communities, countries, globally, personally.   There is much fear, anger, loneliness, suspicion and hatred expressed on social media, in families, at work, between friends and in private thoughts.   It seems as if the concept of “gentleness” has disappeared and is no longer present.

Gentleness: the quality of being kind.  Not much of that seems to be seen or experienced these days.  I wonder why.

Can gentleness exist when fear overwhelms?
Can gentleness exist when suspicion transcends reason?
Can gentleness exist when anger rages?
Can gentleness exist when hatred fuels communities, families, elections,
so that space is created for hope to filter in, for fear to be lifted, for hatred to dissipate?

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

Being gentle *does* mean
… speaking in tones and words that don’t threaten
… acting in ways that don’t incite
… thinking through situations
… listening to the voices of those who have walked similar paths before us: Gandhi, 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

Being gentle *does* mean 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 we didn’t think it would make a difference.

Those same hurtful words and actions could become activators.  They could 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 hope to those who are deeply wounded by the rhetoric and chaos.

Embodying a life of gentleness could mean much to individuals, families, communities, countries and this world.   When others are experiencing pain, grief, loss, rather than trying to be a problem-solver, may we gently acknowledge their reality, walk with them and listen.

May we be gentle
with one another.

May we be gentle
with ourselves.

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© June Maffin
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