“If you don`t know what road to take, take the road of gentleness”- Ifasotito Osowale Agbefayelele
Gently we should approach the human journey so we can walk gracefully in the world. To be gentle implies by its vernacular to be kind, but even if kindness is a good thing, to be gentle holds other virtues. It speaks of freedom, freedom from hatred and violence. Gentle is from the Latin gentilis, which signifies clan ship to a noble family. The same term - ‘gentile’ – was then later used as a pejorative for non Christian citizens in European Christian communities and was often assimilated with the term ‘pagan’. From the 12th Century it was used as an adjective to describe someone of good pedigree, a noble person of fine manners and calm temperament, but also of non Christian dwellers in the countryside, the people of the old customs. In the 17th Century it was used largely as a reference to men of gentle temperament.
The idea of a gentleman today holds the virtue of honor, to be slow to rage, and of possessing some form of refinement that is experienced as a pleasant presence. To be gentle means to be courteous and truthful. A gentle person is someone who possesses clarity of soul and mind, but does not allow this to make the tongue dull in cowardly reluctance when clarity must be spoken…
To be gentle doesn’t mean that one complies with everything – it is also about a way of setting boundaries that strives to not offend – because the one who is gentle will always have a sensibility of dominion and placement, a security of Self and identity. My poison, might be your medicine and your friend might be my enemy. The gentle person will take notice of these fine lines the rude and the bully are insensitive for and they will poison themselves in enmity, enmity with the world and with themselves.
The world is a market and also a garden. It is a place where we find fortune and lucky stars. It is a place where we can sink into beauty and realize all our abundance. A gentle person will always have this experience of the world as a place of beauty and transaction. The beauty will always serve as a reminder of the inherent goodness in the world and in the soul. Beauty is a state where we can be still, count our blessings and find re-orientation. Because when we are in the heart of beauty we are in the heart of Truth and in those moments we touch our divine essence. These moments are important; because it is here in the beautiful kernel of truth we find the nectar that enables us to approach the world as a marketplace of transaction in the spirit of interest.
To approach the world with interest means to approach the world as possibilities and situations without judgment. When we judge a situation, caused by yourself or others, to be bad, to be worthless, to be useless – immediately we erect gates and borders, limitations and restriction upon ourselves. We confirm to categories and labels, to silent social rules and norms our soul rebel against. At the same time we fail to see the greater landscape, how everything makes sense if our horizon is large enough.
The gentle person lives in the rivers of transformation, securely anchored in the few secure pillars of definition, because the gentle person knows the fluid state of the world and self and by each time he or she loses herself this experience enriches Self and in this a greater knowledge is found. Lose yourself to find yourself. Lose yourself in dance, in love, in joy, in interest… accumulation will be your part as the mirror of the soul grows clearer in the constant reminder that Death meets us all...
The gentle person will have a clear vision of its stars and daimons, the compass swirls and turns, but the gentle person will always know its north and nail. This security, this stellar anchor is the pole of peace, free from confusion, gossip and torment. It is the eye in the tornado where we look back upon ourselves. It is the memento mori that drives us towards gentleness and interest in life. It is Bawon Samedi telling you that you are already dead, but not yet buried. So be true to your star, be gentle and soak into life from head to toe, with no discrimination!
If you are a gentle person, it means that you seek to approach the world in a way that affirms your luck, by accepting the others luck. In this way you will seek to understand the way of this web of transaction and you will enter it gently. You will not be seduced by those who approach the world with gluttony and take what belongs to others and seek to be someone they are not. These occurrences will just serve as waymarks and signs. It is the spirit of transaction and transformation at play without judgment involved. In this way we can hunt down our own good fortune so we can walk the world, it be garden or market, gracefully… as kings and queens - or as pawns and beggars….
As the Ifà odù mèjí Èjì Ogbè says:
K’á má fi kánjúkánjú j’ayé
K’á má fi wàràwàrà n’okùn orò
Ohun a bá fi s’àgbá
K’á má fi sè’bínú
Bí a bá dé’bi t’ó tútù
K’á wò’wajú ojó lo tìtì
K’á tún bò wà r’èhin òràn wò
Nítorí àti sùn ara eni ni
In Karenga’s translation:
Let us not engage in the world hurriedly
Let us not grasp at the rope of wealth
That which should be treated with mature judgment
Let us not deal with it in a state of
When we arrive at a cool place
Let us rest fully
Let us give continuous attention to the future
Let us give deep consideration to the
Consequence of things
And this because of our eventual passing