Gentleness of Strength

“Silk is a fine, delicate, soft, illuminating, beautiful substance. But you can never rip it! If a man takes this tender silk and attempts to tear it, and cannot tear it, is he in his right mind to say “This silk is fake! I thought it was soft, I thought it was delicate, but look, I cannot even tear it” ? Surely, this man is not in his right mind! The silk is not fake! This silk is 100% real. It’s the man who is stupid!” ― C. JoyBell C.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.” – Bruce Lee
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 Gentle, striving to be easy with the hardness life brings. Being gentle when the attack is not against me is easy, but let my lover betray me, let a random act of violence occur, let my child be molested in spite of my best efforts, then it proves supremely difficult to resist hardness. When gentleness is discerned by the predators of man and beast, it signifies vulnerability, a sign that brings pursuit and attack. There is however, a side of gentleness that is contrary to weakness. Warriors learned long ago that deftness, a soft touch, is as deadly as brute force. The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be. Gentleness learned is self control gained. To deny the victim demeanor and become a survivor, a warrior, requires a necessary application of gentle traits. Hold the knife easy. Squeeze the trigger softly. Bend not break, as a willow in the breeze. Bruce Lee taught the principle: be like water. Water is soft, yielding, and enjoyable to be around, but still maintains a fearful power. Gentleness is not weakness, it is power under perfect control. I’m this gentle soul, the water that gives way, and still I possess a force to overcome the most difficult opponent, whether it be in the form of man or circumstance.

The Mom That Never Was

Men are what their mothers made them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
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A meeting of the minds, a discussion of a very seriousness nature, is performed under the kitchen table. My siblings, a step-brother and step-sister, began the examination, the topic? Whether or not to call my step mom, mom. I wonder how many little men and women, are wrestling with so simple a task? Though simple, this important issue presses little minds. I never knew a mom growing up, that I can remember. This new “mom” was the closest I would come, and that not very close at all, to experiencing this miracle. Having made up my mind to commit to calling her mom, I began another difficult journey, actually getting out from under the table and initiating a conversation. My terrified frame shook as I mouthed the words I longed to speak. “mmm, ooo”, the first attempt resulted in utter failure. Recovering from this botched attempt, I spoke again, sneaking it at the end. “Can I have a bowl of cereal, (uncomfortable seconds of silence) mom”. “Mom”, spoken with a hoarse whisper. I managed this feat, however, the valiant gesture was to no avail in the end. She ended up torturing me, supporting my alcoholic dad, as I again hid under the table, regretting my vulnerability in giving her the privilege of calling her mom. So much is in that name for a child. All that courage to reach out, the last and final time, to call out for a mother. Not my mother, any mother. My cries went unheeded, my hope unrequited. That name now stays in my pocket, like a toy car, just a fantasy of what should be, what could be. Simple things my friends, simple things are so important. Remember that, mothers as you look at your children, whether or not they are yours. Remember, they need just a simple thing, like being able to call you mom, and know you are there for them.