Monday, December 31, 2012

A Gentler Place

This was the March 6, 1954 cover of The Saturday Evening Post.  I probably saw it, I was eleven years old, and I didn't miss much.  A picture of a girl in her under-clothes, on the front of a magazine, would have never gotten under my screen.

I don't have a specific recollection of that cover, or ever longing to be a movie star, but I do have a built-in sense of the gentleness that underlies this painting, and that's what I'm thinking about this morning, as I try to capture my thoughts on gentleness with keystrokes, and pixels, terms not heard of in 1954.

Lest you think I'm longing for the good-old-days, I'm not.  The day we have, this moment, this very instant, is more than fine with me.  What I'm talking about is what we've lost since that moment and this moment, and it has nothing to do with that time or this time.  What we've given up in our mad quest for more is gentleness.

We don't have time to be gentle with ourselves, and we certainly don't have time to be gentle with each other.  If we slow down to be gentle, we won't have time to tweet, post on Facebook, get the kids to dance class, work overtime so we can afford dance class, and, "O my gosh," did I take Timmy to Karate or did I leave him at school?"   

The irony of the situation is, we gave up gentleness in our mad rush to capture personal satisfaction, and there can be no personal satisfaction without gentleness, love, compassion, and caring. 

Don't add gentleness to your to-do-list.  It isn't a to-do-list item.  Make gentleness the foundation of your day.  Speak to your neighbor, the woman in the store, the man walking the dog in front of your house, and be prepared to talk when one of them returns your gentle gesture.  

Nothing of any import is going to happen until everything comes from a place of  gentleness.

A final, gentle Norman Rockwell image:

Tomorrow, Number 18 in the Norman Rockwell inspired blog series -

Happy New Year


  1. We gave up her childhood where life is simple to follow the footsteps of our parents, and every generation runs a little faster. My two-year-old grandson will look back on 2013 as a gentle time. Only God knows how fast his generation will be running when they become adults.

    1. Caleb,
      I believe you are absolutely right. I wish it weren't so, but wishes are simply another diversion.
      Happy New Year my good friend - or I suppose I should say, "Happy New Year BFF"

  2. I'd love to slow things down. Most days I feel like I'm riding the ox cart along life's highway, while the rest of the world whips by in a souped up little red sports car. Lovely blog. And thank you for your service to our nation. I write about every day heroes, ordinary G.I. Joes and Janes finding their way to happily ever after. Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks Barbara,
      I'm getting ready to spend a rare uninterrupted day writing. In preparation for that I just crawled into a headset and without much thought cranked up one of playlists. As it turned out, the list is Bonnie Tyler and the song selection covers more than 30 years of her career. Like you, she is getting better and better.
      Have a great new year - every moment of it.

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