Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength." - St. Frances de Sales
Welcome to another Martial Monday fellow warriors. Let's dive in.
The quote by St. Frances de Sales is not something that is encouraged very much these days. Especially for men. We are told that in order to be strong, you must be dominant, a lone-wolf, and maybe even harsh, unforgiving, and stoic. Life is unforgiving and harsh right? It is. But that is precisely why we must balance it out with gentleness. The myth of gentleness is that one is weak if one is gentle. The opposite is actually true. One possesses great strength if one is gentle.
I am by no means saying that one is timid if one is gentle. Far from it. This is a lie you have been told so that you will not be gentle. Because the truth is, those people who fed you that lie, they don't want you to achieve true personal power. You can begin to acquire this power when you possess BOTH capabilities viz. the capabilities to be gentle and aggressive. To be able to dominate and submit. Only being aggressive will cause you to damage everything and everyone you interact with. Only being submissive will cause you to be trampled on and taken advantage of by everyone and everything. Life calls for both. There are times when one or the other is appropriate. As a warrior, I am concerned with doing what is appropriate for the given circumstance and situation not in being a certain way all the time.
In the ultimate scenario, warriors do this all the time. What level of violence do I use to meet this particular threat? Does this threat even warrant me using violence? We must decide then how to act and what to do with grave consequences on the line should we choose poorly. These ultimate extreme moments often call for violence to be met with superior violence and resolve. This is what protectors and warriors have committed to doing should the need present itself.
However, they have also committed to being gentle and kind when appropriate. Because the warrior is a servant. They will do whatever it takes to keep their loved ones, their team safe. If that means being violent, they do it. If that means protecting the feelings and emotions of another by being gentle and kind, they do it. They can walk in both worlds and do so regularly.
I want to stress the point that true warriors know how to be gentle. They understand that to be gentle is to be strong, not to be a panzi. One of my mentors is by far the toughest, most powerful man I know. He has a command presence unlike any I've ever seen. And yet, when I saw him interact with his two greyhound dogs, he was kind to them, gentle and sensitive to the fact that they were rescues and could be spooked easily due to their abusive past. This is a man who is without question one of the most lethal men on the planet, and he was soft and kind to his animals. This is a true warrior. Someone who understands the power and strength that comes from being gentle where appropriate and devastatingly violent when appropriate.
I look to men like him as examples for myself that being gentle and kind isn't weakness. It isn't cowardly. It is in fact many times, the more difficult path to take. Many times, it would be "easier" to just smack someone who annoyed you. But that would not be the right thing to do. It is difficult to show gentleness and kindness to an antagonist but that is precisely why warriors choose it. It builds our character and forges us into men and women of discipline, honor and integrity.
I challenge you to view gentleness in a different light. Do not be passive when the situation calls for action however, do not be aggressive when the situation calls for gentleness. Demonstrate true strength by being able to do both. Claim true personal power for yourself by being able to walk in both worlds.
Live in the battleground dear warriors,
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.