“Dousman ale lwen.”  The gentlest way goes furthest.

Touissant Louverture, Haiti



2 thoughts on “Gentleness

  1. Gentleness and the Appearance of the Soul.

    Parker Palmer has a wonderful metaphor – that the soul is like a wild animal: “tough, resilient, savvy, resourceful and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places. Many of us learn about these qualities in the darkest moments of our lives when the faculties we normally depend upon utterly fail us—the intellect is useless, the emotions dead, the will impotent, and the ego shattered. But sometimes, way back in the thickets of our inner lives, we sense the presence of something that knows how to stay alive and helps us to keep going. That something, I suggest, is the tough and tenacious soul.”

    “And yet the soul, despite its toughness, is also essentially shy—just like a wild animal. It will flee from the noisy crowd and seek safety in the deep underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out! But if we will walk into the woods quietly and sit at the base of a tree, breathing with the earth and fading into our surroundings, the wild creature we seek may eventually show up.”

    So in matters of the soul, the gentlest way does indeed go further.

    John Fenner
    Director of Courage & Renewal Programs for Clergy and Congregational Leaders


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