9/15/14

Disarming Anger with Gentleness



When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.
Saint Francis de Sales
Whether you realize it or not, we are taught to react, usually in anger and hate. Before you assume that I am talking about abusive men, or a violent society, just look at how we judge others. It’s usually based on what we don’t like about them.

John might be cool if he didn’t…
Jane is nice and all but she…

We tend to use our dislikes of something to judge and dismiss others, as if this makes us better than them. We need to fight what we don’t condone as if this empowers our cause. We see this so often in so many activists, for whatever cause, online. They will rant and troll, and go as far as to look for fights. Why? Because it’s a way to hide their insecurities.

The problem exponentially grows as the persons at the other end of the attack reacts to your judgmental attitude. They will take your judgment as an offense, countering with their own judgmental attitude, exposing their insecurities.

We assume that the only way to show how strong we are is to confront the prejudice. This sense of “strength” creates an unending chain of events. And this chain goes on and on, as to insecurities spawn prejudice, and prejudice spawn further prejudice. Till someone stops it.

Most prejudice stem from insecurities or ignorance. Confronting it with violence and intolerance cures neither. So how do you deal with this kind of situation?

You first have to be able to understand the other person, not from a judgmental dismissive attitude, but rather from a gentle and understanding nature. Being sure of yourself while doing this. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Understanding that neither you nor them are perfect, and neither of you need to be.

Offering understanding and gentleness serves two fold. First, it’s rather hard to judge and condemn the helping hand. If they will expose themselves to their insecurities. Become a mirror, not where they see what they are doing wrong, but what they can do better. Let them learn from their actions. What these people need is a helping hand, not a fist.

This attitude does not mean you are weak, and be willing to remind them. There will be times when your hand will be forced into a fist, but this is only allowed where gentleness has no effect. Let your enemies be disarmed by the gentleness of your manner, but at the same time let them feel, the steadiness of your resolve. Never forget, we are Gentlemen after all.