Gentle

1 (a): belong to a family of high social station; (b) archaic: chivalrous; (c) honorable, distinguished; (d) kind, amiable; (3) suited to a person of high social station
2 (a): tractable, docile; (b): free from harshness, sternness, or violence
3: soft, delicate
4: moderate

Source: www.merriam-webster.com

Etymology

Gentle (adj.): early 13th century, gentile, gentilewell-born, of noble rank or family,” from Old French gentil/jentilhigh-born, worthy, noble, of good family; courageous, valiant; fine, good, fair” and directly from Latin gentilisof the same family or clan,” in Medieval Latin “of noble or good birth,” from gensrace, clan,” from the root of gignerebeget,” from the Proto-Indo-European root gene-to give birth” (genus). From 1823 as “pertaining to the fairies.”

Sense evolved in English and French to “having the characters or manners of one of noble rank or birth,” varying according to how those were defined. From mid-13th century in English as “gracious, kind” (now obsolete) were manners prescribed for Christian or chivalrous nobility. From late 13th century as “courteous, polite, well-bread, charming;” c. 1300 as “graceful, beautiful.” Meaning “mild, tender; easy: not harsh” is from 1550s. Older sense remains in gentleman, and compare gentile (adj.), an alternative form which tends to keep the Biblical senses of the Latin word (though gentle in Middle English sometimes meant “pagan, heathen”), and genteel, which is the same word borrowed gain from French. From 1823

Source: www.etymonline.com

Wisdom

“Life, deal gentle with her… Love, never desert her.”

L.M. Montgomery (1874-1942, pen name of Lucy Maud Montgomery, a Canadian author, best known for the series of “Anne of Green Gables” novels)

Bio Source:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_Maud_Montgomery

“The voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls.”

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality; he was interested in evolution of the individual, cultural health, creativity, power, and earthly realities rather than a life in a world beyond; central to his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation”)

Bio Source:

plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche/

“These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one's self.
To mind one's own business.
Not to want to manage other people's affairs.
To avoid curiosity.
To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.
To pass over the mistakes of others.
To accept insults and injuries.
To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.
To be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Never to stand on one's dignity.
To choose always the hardest.”

Mother Theresa (1910-1997, born Agnes Gonxha Bojazhiu in Macedonia; as a nun and with very little funds she opened an open-air school for slum children and was joined by voluntary helpers and financial support; in 1950 she started her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity,” which expanded all over the world to take care of shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless, and AIDS sufferers; Mother Theresa received the recipient of The Nobel Peace Prize in 1979)

Bio Source:

www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1979/teresa-bio.html

“When it comes to the crusty behavior of some people, give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be drowning right before your eyes, but you can't see it. And you'd never ask someone to drown with a smile on his face.”

Richelle E. Goodrich (writer of young adult, science, fantasy, and romance fiction; best known for writing “Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year”)

Bio Source:

www.goodreads.com/author/show/5082833.Richelle_E_Goodrich

“Sometimes its not the strength but gentleness that cracks the hardest shells.”

Richard Paul Evans (b. 1962, American author, best known for writing “The Christmas Box and the Michael Vey series)

Bio Source:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Paul_Evans

“Throw away thy rod, throw away thy wrath; O my God, take the gentle path.”

George Herbert (1593-1633, Welsh-born poet, orator, and Anglican priest; associated with metaphysical poets, he was recognized as one of the foremost British devotional lyricists)

Bio Source:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Herbert

“Love is often gentle, desire always a rage.”

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983, American journalist and author; she published aphorisms that were later collected in three books: “The Neurotic’s Notebook, “The Second Neurotics Notebook,” and “The Complete Neurotoic’s Notebook”)

Bio Source:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mignon_McLaughlin

Meditation

“These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one’s self.
To mind one’s own business.
Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.
To avoid curiosity.
To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.
To pass over the mistakes of others.
To accept insults and injuries.
To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.
To be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Never to stand on one’s dignity.
To choose always the hardest.”

Mother Theresa

 

Mother Theresa’s wisdom and profound list of recommendations for humility is challenging at best.  But, I must admit that failed 11 out of 11, especially as I am writing about myself!

Humility and gentleness are countercultural life principles, ones that are not always appreciated and respected by society.  Let’s face it, most of us drama queens and kings love the feeling of being gladiators — heroes in the arenas, and at the same time participating and feeling the thrill of the fiery mob.   These “power” characteristics are a large part of our original “primitive” mind.  We developed a taste for being immersed in the drama. Excitement revs us up and gets our adrenaline going, and sometimes makes us addicts to our own chemistry.  Otherwise, life is boring. Or is it?

Have you ever tried struggled with your dark thoughts?  It’s like wrestling with an alligator.  It can be a bloody battle.  The only cure to those “dark nights” is loving oneself, being of service to others, and distracting oneself by creating new patterns of positive thoughts.  On some days positive thoughts may flow effortlessly, but there are times when there will be a lot of resistance.  It’s normal. We are human, after all.

Every morning, I am devoted to a spiritual routine where I write, read, walk, and bathe myself in the healing magic of Nature.  On those days I can write five pages of thoughts, walk two miles or more, and do a load of core exercises.

But, then there are days I’m not up for writing, walking or doing any type of exercise. On those days I don’t beat myself up, but am gentle, compassionate and forgiving.  But, instead of doing nothing I surrender myself, as Pierrie Teilhard de Chardin once wrote, to the “Slow work of God.”

Sojourners, on this day may you be gentle in your thoughts and in your deeds.

Much Love, Tonya

 

 

 

 

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