I’m discovering the power and transformative nature of gentleness, tenderness, and kindness. They don’t sound so monumental. I know, right? Gentleness??? Tenderness??? Kindness??? We all know that the world goes round by courage, passion, perseverance and all other kinds of heroic virtues. But gentleness, tenderness, and kindness??? Sounds more like some sort of romance novel! But I’m discovering that every time I express those qualities or I’m on the receiving end of them, it satisfies something I long for.
We are all so busy pushing, pulling, thinking, doing, running, accomplishing, striving, multitasking, building, solving, accumulating, producing, focusing – who has time for gentleness, tenderness and kindness? I wish I could periodically just stop the world, like a time out, and say: “Okay everyone, look to your left and look to your right, and take some time to express a little gentleness, tenderness and kindness to those people. Ready, set, GO!”
I wonder how different our lives, our relationships and our world would be if the qualities of gentleness, tenderness and kindness held as much value as other ones we give so much more credence to?
To prime the pump, here are a few ideas about expressing gentleness, tenderness and kindness today.
1. Spend a little longer in bed with your partner today, and express how much you love them as you offer gentle and tender touch.
2. Soften the tone with your kids today. Offer them a gentle and tender tone and spirit today. Indulge them a bit with gentleness and tenderness.
3. See the beauty and wonder of people today, and express it. Whether it’s your spouse or the grocery store cashier, express kindness. Be acceptance today. Be affirmation today. Start a conspiracy of kindness today.
4. I participated in the “Free Hugs” campaign in New Your City, Times Square. It was one of the most amazing experiences! The power of giving a hug, even to someone you’ve never met and will never see again, has a profound impact. Just the power of a hug… a smile… a kind word or gesture. The truth is, this is what makes the world go round.
5. Express gentleness, tenderness and kindness to all living things. What would it mean to express these qualities with your dog, cat or other animals in your life today? What would it mean to be gentle, tender and kind today as you move through this world of land and sea, earth and sky, stars and trees?
What would you add as ways to express gentleness, tenderness and kindness in our world today?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky said the world will be saved by beauty. I don’t disagree. But I wonder if the truth is that the world will be saved by gentleness, tenderness and kindness. That amidst all that pushing and pulling, and striving and shoving… that the presence of gentleness, tenderness and kindness in the world will preserve, nourish and transform it.
(photo by photoport / deviantart.com)