Crafting Gentleness

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Work

I've been thinking about this a bit. I find that in my thinking I often refer to what I aspire to as The Work. What I mean by this is whatever I can do as a human being to reduce the possibilities of violence, coercion, domination, and oppression in my life, in my relationships. I don't think that there are areas of my life in which that work doesn't apply, and I think that commitment to The Work most helpfully involves a commitment not to just do 'gentleness work' in contexts that are formally identified as places for 'gentleness work'. Learning to live the attitude I aspire to means working to walk with an attitude of listening, with an openness to situations, with an openness to vulnerabilities, whenever I can, wherever I can. I find that hard, because it means I can't pretend that I'm not hiding from that challenge when I actually am. But it doesn't mean that it's always hard, just when I fight it. It's easier when I let it happen, or often when I simply get out of my own bloody way. Does The Work have to be hard work?


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