There is something that I want to say, somewhat out of the ordinary for this blog, please be patient while I find a way to say it.
I am a scarily cheerful person almost all of the time, particularly on diamond-bright blue-skied winter days like today. Things are actually pretty grim in the Netherlands, where I live, right now. The economy has taken a hit under the waterline and people are losing jobs, businesses and houses. Such times are of course sent to try us and they have one gift to give: perspective, they force you to focus on what is truly important.
I may lose my job.
But, I have a close and loving relationship with my wife and children. I am healthy (though a little overweight right now) and live in comfort and safety. I consider myself fortunate beyond all reckoning. If was going to have a problem with something I would definately have chosen the economy and work. I am therefore filthy rich in any coin worth counting.
In these times it is tempting to "turtle", pull the covers over your head and wait for it all to blow over, but that is not what we are for. If you do have perspective and strength this is the time to reach out to others. I spent various moments this week with people who are overstretched by their work, put at financial risk, or worse dunked in confusion and sadness by turmoil and tough decisions in their personal lives. There is little you can do but listen attentively and perhaps offer a little practical help and perspective. You can be gentle. So that is what the title is about. Even now, even when money markets lurch around like drunken giants there is no force, no dictum greater than love and the ability to care for your fellow-person.
Gentleness is your super-power. Use it for good.