If you could put it in a bottle and sell it you'd make a fortune. Gentleness is a virtue, a gift we give to each other. Gentleness can be a quality or trait demonstrated by a person, but simply doing acts of kindness does not make a person gentle. And why would a person even want to be gentle?
What is gentleness?
We use the word "gentle" to describe many things. The rain, wind, waves, and even music are often described as gentle. A touch can be gentle, and so can the sound of one's voice. Even movement can be gentle. But what about people?
A gentleman, according to the dictionary, is a man who is courteous or mannerly. A gentlewoman comes from a good family or superior social position. Yet, a gentleman or gentlewoman doesn't necessarli have to possess the trait of gentleness.
I think gentleness is intertwined with kindness. If you are gentle, you are calm. Gentleness is a quality that comes from the heart and soul. Truly gentle people give of themselves, and they empathize with others. They establish peace.
Some associate gentleness with passivity and weakness. Not true! Actually gentle people are quite strong because they know how to remain calm and show restraint. When a gentle person becomes angry or frustrated, they keep emotions in check and control their reactions. They do not rage at others, rather they remain composed.
Why gentleness is good.
Gentleness can state people and decreases chaos. The result is less stress for everyone. Consider the followingame example: a teacher is trying to settle a class down so they can get back to the business of learning. In the classroom, there is much noise and chaos. Students are leaving their seats and talking way to much for any learning to occur. The teacher could choose to yell over the noise of the students, or argue with them. Instead the teacher tells the students in a neutral tone, "i'm ready to teach when you'receive ready to learn", and sits down to grade papers. The teacher chose to respond to students in a gentle manner, and the class reacted positively. Everyone felt less stressed and on tinted on with the daily activities.
Two reasons why gentleness was the right strategy: the amount of stress on the students depressed, and the teacher also taught her class how to respond in a gentle manner. She taught by example, not by threatening OR demanding. Learning to be a gentle is an important social skills we all need to practice.
How we can be gentle
1- Think before you react or respond. People often react too quickly to situations without taking time to think about how reactions and responses affect others.
2-React in a calm manner. Sometimes actions can appear threatening to others. Fold your arms or hands, or keep arms at sides to avoid appearing threatening. Also, speak in a normal speaking voice. Screaming only escalates the situation.
3- Learn to empathize with others. If you can learn to imagine what it's like to ask in anothr'so shoes, you can better understand that person and respond to them in a gentle way.
4- Respond with kindness. A oil negativits and think about ways to make a situation better. Don't worry about being right,; instead focus on what you can do to help others, and in turn, they will help you.
Being gentle is something you must work at, and it does not come easy. Some of the strongest people I have known have been very gentle, and through their actions they have shown others how to be kind. Gentleness is reflected in how you treat others. Try to respond to others in a gentle and loving way.
For more on gentleness view:
DeBorrah K Ogans on October 20, 2009:
Julie A. Johnson,
You have shared some very wise information here! How wonderful so many homes could become if they valued gentleness! As you so wonderfully stated: "Some associate gentleness with passivity and weakness. Not true! Actually gentle people are quite strong because they know how to remain calm and show restraint. When a gentle person becomes angry or frustrated, they keep emotions in check and control their reactions. They do not rage at others, rather they remain composed." You are right gentleness is a GIFT, which I believe comes from God! It really does take much more discipline and self control to respond in a gentle way!
Again wonderful and thank you for sharing!
Julie A. Johnson (author) from Duluth, MN on June 27, 2008:
I agree, there are times the world seems bvery impatient and cruel. It would be nice if people treated each other more kindly. Thank you for your insight. Julie
flutterbug77 from USA on June 27, 2008:
I wish the world did have more gentle people in it. We live in a crazy world in which everything is rushed and society can be so impatient and cruel. But it would be nice to treat our fellow humans more kindly. Thanks for a "gentle" reminder.
Julie A. Johnson (author) from Duluth, MN on June 26, 2008:
Ananta, I agree you reap what you sow. It's helpful to be mindful of your actions. Thanks for your comment, Ananta. Julie
Ananta65 on June 26, 2008:
It's all about karma, isn't it? You reap what you sow. And it all starts with your own mindful intention in my experience Thumbs up, Julie :)
Julie A. Johnson (author) from Duluth, MN on June 25, 2008:
Marisue, I agree--there is a definite need for gentleness. The worls is so violent. Thank you for your affirmation. Julie
Pam Pounds, I'm glad you found this hub inspiring, and I think you're right--gentleness does come from an inner strength. Thanks for your insight. Julie
Pam Pounds from So Cal Girl in the Midwest! on June 25, 2008:
In today's world of road rage, random violence, domestic abuse, etc etc etc...your article is an inspiration. I agree that gentleness is kindness.
Gentleness should not be interpreted as weakness. But rather, the calmness and wisdom that comes from inner strength.
marisuewrites from USA on June 25, 2008:
Never before at least in my lifetime, have i ever seen such a need for gentleness. We live in such harsh times. A gentle word gets my attention before any scream or yell when trying to solve a problem.
I really liked your words...."I think gentleness is intertwined with kindness. If you are gentle, you are calm. Gentleness is a quality that comes from the heart and soul. Truly gentle people give of themselves, and they empathize with others. They establish peace."
What a nice reminder of why and how to be gentle Thanks Julie!!
Julie A. Johnson (author) from Duluth, MN on June 25, 2008:
Ralph, I agree, there's a time and place for everything. Often people could act in a more gentle fashion, but at times ferocity can also be helpful. The situation should to determine the tone. Thanks for your insight. Julie
Ripplemaker, Healing definitely requires a gentle touch, and I hope reflection on gentlenees helps you with your healing. Thank you for your response. Julie
amy jane, I know I have to work hard at being gentle, it does not come naturally, perhaps for others it does. Thank you for the compliment and your support. Julie
amy jane from Connecticut on June 25, 2008:
Beautiful hub Julie! I agree that gentleness is something we have to work at. It is certainly worth the effort. :)
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on June 25, 2008:
Gentleness is indeed a gift. Hubber dayzeebee always pointed out that I am at my most gentle self when I am doing "healing." I've pondered on those words for a long time. Thanks for this hub which made me reflect on it.
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on June 25, 2008:
Gentleness certainly has its place, as does ferocity. Maybe we need a change of pace--if gentleness doesn't work try something not so gentle. In my experience some situations don't call for gentleness. I am in general agreement with your thoughts on this topic.