The tenderness manifesto
November 11, 2016 § 2 Comments
Today I will try a little tenderness.
I will smooth my skin with lotion the way I soothed my children after a bath – with gentle, loving strokes instead of hasty, chore-like slaps. I will seek out the comfort of tea instead of the driving kick of coffee. I will eat food that nourishes me. I will not berate or belittle myself. I will try a little tenderness.
I will choose between work and rest in a way that calms me. I will stop to stare at the sky, to notice the lizards, to breathe in the smell of the rain. I will fill the air with the scent of cinnamon and love. I will try a little tenderness.
I will caress my children’s unlined brows and speak to them with patience. I will listen when they speak: without distraction, without the tap-tap-tapping on some or other screen. I will think before I speak; pause before I react, remember that they are still finding their way in the world. I will try a little tenderness.
Today I will tread lightly on the earth. I will rescue bees and ladybirds; I will plead with spiders to go elsewhere for their prey. I will conserve water and be sparing with fuel. I will reduce, reuse, recycle. I will try a little tenderness.
Today I will remember that there are really only two emotions: love and fear, and I will emphasise the first. I will remember that I only have influence in my little corner of the world, and I will work to make it a place of kindness, gentleness, laughter and love. I will try a little tenderness.
I will share what I can when I can. I will help my neighbour. I will smile at people and greet them, and recognise their humanity in any interaction I have. I will constantly remember that everyone is fighting their own battles, and I will remind myself to be much kinder than is necessary. I will try a little tenderness.
I will speak out when injustice rears its ugly head. I will no longer remain silent or hang back so as not to get involved. I will speak out and speak up and I will try a little tenderness.
And when I fail, as I inevitably will, I will remember that tomorrow is another day, another chance to try again. And when tomorrow comes, again I will try a little tenderness. But for now all I have is this day, this hour, this moment.
Today I will try a little tenderness. God knows the world could use it.