Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I like the term "gentleman" because I like the idea that being gentle is classy, distinguished, polished and polite. I believe the term "lady" refers to a person who understands how to behave gently, who is honest, has integrity and is very polite. Ladies are the counterparts of Gentlemen, right?
During the 70's, the Women's Movement taught us that there's honor in toughness, sharp edges, assertiveness and head-banging confrontations. In fact any behavior that a "lady" would never entertain was encouraged enthusiastically within the movement. At that moment in time, we had to abandon our manners for awhile, in order to bust through the glass ceiling of our cultural hierarchy. It was important and I'm really glad we did it.
Unfortunately, though, in the process of becoming empowered, we lost contact with the virtues of kindness, gentleness, softness and receptivity. To cultivate gentleness was to sell out to the man. To be called a lady was a heinous insult. Seriously, it was.
Maybe it's because I'm getting older, or, well, who knows why? But these days I so appreciate gentle behavior. My favorite massage therapist is persistent but gentle. My acupuncturist is focused - but gentle! I've even managed to cultivate a little bit of gentleness within my own being, something I intend to continue.
Every day I'm walking around in this beautiful, gentle, soft and sweet autumn in Washington DC, marvelling at the subtlety of the colors and shapes, and the pearly softness of the sky. The air itself is healing. The season is gentle and I am loving it!