I woke up craving gentleness. Wanting to feel it. Wanting to experience it in such abundance, that I have plenty to froth and spill over anyone in my vicinity.
But gentleness feels very distant right now. So, geek that I am, I looked it up... hoping to find an etymological clue that could help. And I think I did...
"of the same clan"
The word gentle was originally associated with nobility, and courteous, non-violent behavior. The historical use of the word suggests to me that humans found it difficult to be unkind to those *inside* their clan.
And, problematically, "off with the heads!" of anyone *outside* their clan.
A lot of the world is torn into opposing clans that assume the very worst about each other. I remember a few days after George Floyd's murder... the world seemed softened into puree for a brief moment, because human hearts were appalled and broken and righteously outraged. And positive alliances were forming, and eyes were opening...
...but it didn't take long for massive confusion to come and convince us that we are each other's enemy. These days, we can trigger and threaten each other with our mere presence. Where did innocence and grace go?
Relationships crack and fade because a belief about something (which might actually be incorrect), now holds more importance than a living person we have known and loved and trusted for years.
This year has shaken and stolen so much from decent people, and fragile ecosystems. It is tempting to hold one or two particular faces (e.g. Trump, Biden, Fauci, Gates, 'Karen,' a neighbor, etc.) responsible for all the hell that has been unleashed...
...but as much as any one of us may think we know it is, of course, still only a fraction of The Ultimate Truth. <--- This humbles me. It reminds me to generate gentleness for myself, my own blindness and ignorance, and each precious being I encounter. I have done this imperfectly, and hope to repair those relations that are meant for me to keep. And I give extreme thanks for each and every relation I have, that has withstood the fury of 2020.
A gentler dawn comes. 🌅
The question "How are you?" is PROFOUND.
But it has been watered-down to a synonym for "Hello."
Forced or fake auto-responses of obligated okay-ness are expected.
(And if you are going through something tragic, it really doesn't matter! Every social encounter OPENS with this well-established Ritual of Insincerity.)
The question "How are you?" prompts an answer that begins with "I AM _____________."
This means many times each day, you are invited to SPEAK THE MOST POWERFUL STATEMENT that can be spoken of yourself.
And the socially-expected thing to do, is be QUICK + SLICK with your answer.
For a change... TAKE YOUR TIME, and tell your truth. ✍🏾