Gentleness vs. harshness

Showing consideration and personal concern for others.

Gentleness is a quality of strength that is able to control itself as opposed to the brute strength that cannot govern itself when irritated. Gentleness is not easy.

It requires great inner strength to maintain self-control when everything else seems out of control. Gentleness is also an issue of outer deportment: how individuals interact with the people and objects in their world.

It is no coincidence that the steel strength of Superman lay hidden within the mild mannered Clark Kent. The all-American comic book hero represents a profound lesson of character: gentleness is the quality of hidden strength. Gentleness is not lacking the power to react to a difficult situation; it is having the power not only to react, but also having the additional strength to control one's reaction and channel one's efforts to build up rather than tear down others. It is muscles of steel governed by a heart of gold.

Gentleness is best summed up in the words of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Have you ever been misunderstood? Did you say or do something, and others completely misinterpreted your intentions? Gentleness is giving others the benefit of the doubt when they have offended you. Gentleness gives opportunity for understanding. At the end of a hard day how do you want to be treated by others? Gentleness is keeping in mind that others feel the same way, considering the feelings of others. Use your own experience as a basis for understanding how you can show consideration and concern to others. Practice the Golden Rule - deal gently with those in need around you. Visualize yourself in the same circumstances someone else is facing and seek to respond as you would want others to respond to you.

Children are sensitive to unkind speech and words spoken in anger rather than with gentleness.

Harsh words spoken in an angry voice can crush a child's heart like a hammer shattering a priceless work of art.

Give careful thought to your attitude when interacting with your family. Correct with gentleness so that you don't alienate with anger.

Brought to you by the Four Corners Character Council. Character First! definitions and information used by permission. Character Training Institute www.characterfirst.com.