Over the last few months I have become acutely aware of a lack of gentleness and kindness all over the world. Countries are plagued with terror attacks and politicians are driven by incredible greed and power. Refugees experience the worst of circumstances to get to other countries with the hope of a better life and poverty leads many to vicious criminal acts. Heart wrenching images flash across our television screens and appear in newspapers and magazines, highlighting the depths that mankind is capable of.
I have always been shocked by the way in which women and girls have been treated throughout the ages and still are in many countries. I am busy reading ‘Mayada Daughter of Iraq’ written by well known author, Jean Sasson. This book tells the awful true story of a woman’s survival in Saddam Hussein’s torture jail in 1999. The story recounts the dreadful and traumatizing acts of absolute savage behavior in this jail and tells the stories of many women crammed into a single prison cell. Prison guards were driven by promises of wealth and status in return for the most brutal acts of torture and suffering. A pivotal theme in this book is the total disregard of humanity, respect and human rights. It boggles the mind that human beings, who have been given such a precious gift of choice between good and evil, can stoop to such levels of human degradation.
Daily we are surrounded by angry motorists, impatient shoppers, negative news reports, conflicting health reviews, cynicism towards our new ideas, lawlessness and an abounding fear of the future …….. and a huge absence of gentleness, kindness and patience. What has happened to our world? What messages are we conveying to our children and grandchildren? That it is acceptable to beat up the boy in the classroom because of a misunderstanding or a skew word or are we teaching them to spare a thought for the other person’s set of circumstances and reactions?
I am an avid lover of films and often find myself feeling really sad after watching a movie with a gentle story line. Does this only happen on a scripted set or are there still genuine stories with happy endings? Of course there are, but they seem to be rare nuggets waiting to be unearthed rather than just lying around for all to see and experience. Of course life is not like the Hallmark movie channel where everything is peachy perfect and all’s well that ends well…..our journeys are created to have diversions, trials and searches to hopefully create strong and vibrant characters along the way. Like the game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’, some ladders need to be climbed and at times we slither down the ‘snakes’.
Sometimes my life feels like a maze, each room filled with a situation that I am not quite equipped to handle or rather wish I didn’t have to enter. Some rooms are filled with overwhelming noise and issues that go totally against my belief systems, but cannot be avoided and I just have to find my way out of them. Other rooms are filled with disappointments and broken dreams or choices that I would rather not be reminded of and then there are those that have bright shafts of hope and reminders of gentleness and possibilities of good things to look forward to.
Perhaps I just need to remove myself periodically to a walk in a quiet labyrinth where I can take deep breaths of fresh air and new ideas and find the gentleness that I crave in this world of mine. We are all part of a world that is woven together with various colourful strands of kindness and gentleness amid the often overwhelming issues that we cannot change or don’t want to accept. Life is often challenging, but amid all the highs and lows, we can find a place to call ‘my happy space’.
Until next time…..
Images courtesy of Google Images.