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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Searching for Strength?

Try a Little Tenderness

A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.”
John Ruskin

I had a very sweet experience yesterday. A team of men were cutting down a dead tree in my yard; hard labor under any circumstances and they were long and lean from doing it every day. It was 93 degrees; every inch of them was soaked in sweat. I took a pitcher of ice water out to try and keep them from simply keeling over. At the end of the day, one of them rang the doorbell. He had an old backpack, torn in several places and soiled from much use. Inside it were three baby squirrels. He said, “Look what we found in your tree.” The babies were doing their best to climb out, but they were too young to have the strength. “The lady next door said that you were a nature lover," he said, "so I thought you might like to have them.” I held one of the babies, only about the size of my hand, just coming into its fur coat. I explained about the five dogs inside my house, and said they would bode badly for baby squirrels. He gently placed the baby back with its brothers, and told me, “Yeah, I have dogs too, but I'm going to take them home and see if I can keep them alive.”

Such kindness and gentleness of spirit is uncommon these days, as is valuing the lives of critters as common as gray squirrels. There is something so potent about men who are not afraid, and in fact not even aware, of showing their tenderness. It has an impact on others that is far beyond typical masculine power displays. Carl Jung would say that such men have a well developed feminine and enough confidence in their masculinity to let it show. That's much needed in this world that over values guns, guts and glory.

Today, let's put a little thought and a little kindness into our words and deeds. Tenderness and gentleness are far stronger than steel and bullets.

                                                                  In the Spirit,


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