Crafting Gentleness

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Event Specific Vocabularies

Hi Anthony
Hello Shelly - I don't think I know you....
I live in Seattle.

Anthony invited me to join this and so I did a week or so ago but didn't do anything. I have my own blog to take care of and a lot of other things. And I only type with two fingers so its a big deal to me... Anyway I read the last several posts and I have a few observations to make.

About the concept of one word. I think that's kind of narrow. I mean life is pretty big, right? We go through a lot of dramas in our lives. For instance, if I were stranded in the Death Valley and it was 135 degrees my one word might be "water." If someone found me and gave me a drink my word might change to "thanks." If I had a deep spiritual revelation due to my experience there might be no word at all. And when I woke up from my recuperation I might just say, "hello."

As for gentleness... I would say there are times to be gentle and times not to be. My mind begins to wander and I cast about among the events of the day. I am Iraqi. My house has been destroyed by an American bomb and I have lost all my children. My country is occupied by powerful foreigners. Try as I may - and despite all the good wishes of people watching from afar - gentleness is a little out of my reach right now. Anger, yes. Sorrow, confusion, panic. But I may very well metamorphose into something more dangerous and who would you be to criticize? At times "gentleness" seems like a luxury. And of course, there's the standard example of the armed robbers coming into your house and putting a gun to your child's head. Should you be gentle?

What I am suggesting is that all of the situations that we find ourselves in have their own vocabulary and their own set of primary concerns. We need to be flexible and realistic. Having a vision is one thing, divorcing it from reality is something else.

Decisions and answers are a part of life. Yes, there is a correct answer, but it will change as soon as it is found because the question will change. "How do I get out of here?" There is a correct answer. Then the question might become, "Where do I go now?" Or, "What's for dinner?" Know what I mean? So many people seem to be afraid of answers and decisions. They are real. Don't be afraid of them. Life goes on even if you screw up.

What's the word right now? How about a couple of words for one idea? Right now mine would "clean the garage."


  • Hi Jim...I still wonder if there is not a common theme that exists underneath all of the variable circumstances of your day? I agree it feels like there are multiple words but it is profound to uncover the main tone.

    By Blogger Shelley, at Sunday, 17 September, 2006  

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