Subtle

Today someone said to me, "you're a gentleman and a scholar."

It was said lightly, in passing. Naturally, I took it to heart and got all angsty over the possible meanings of it.

"Scholar" I will accept, as I am nothing if not a researcher. It was the "gentleman" part that gave me pause. I really wish I was a more gentle man. Back in my SCA days, a friend once described my fighting style as "subtle, like a chainsaw." Unfortunately, that is true of me in other ways, especially verbally. I mentioned this a couple posts back, and it has been on my mind ever since. I was given a t-shirt, custom printed just for me, by a friend years ago that sums up the issue quite well. It reads, "I love all humanity - it's people I can't stand."

Various schools of Buddhism use different techniques to instill gentleness, or "loving kindness" in their adherents. I should have been using one of them as my primary practice for years now. At the very least, I should have been doing something to knock the rough edges off.

Of course, age has a way of doing that for you; I'm actually not nearly so blunt as I used to be. I wish I could say it's the result of accumulated wisdom, but there is also the possibility that I'm just getting tired. Living a full court press all the time is exhausting. Regardless of the cause, at this rate, I will be truly gentle in another 60 or 70 years...

3 comments:

Sci Fi Heroine said...

THIS is "not nearly so blunt as I used to be?" I'm glad I know you now. :) But seriously, as recent conversations have revealed, your directness and honesty is valued by those close to you. Even when you're directly and honestly telling me to put the dishes away before you kill somebody...

Claytonian said...

So I actually do have hope of becoming less grumpy...

His Sinfulness said...

Heroine,

That's not fair! I haven't killed anyone over the dishes in... weeks. :/

Clay,

Perhaps. The boys down in R&D are still crunching the numbers, but it appears that if one lives long enough they become less grumpy - possibly even jolly. That would explain Santa Claus.

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