Gentle HeartA gentle heart takes aim …

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.” Mahatma Gandhi

Sometimes an emotional experience is overwhelming, especially for a person with a gentle heart. Let me tell you what happened to me the other day.

Point blank

One of my grandsons was playing in our lounge. He and his brother have guns that fire missiles with orange tips. He decided to blast our television from close range. The TV rocked.

I sat beside him with a deep sigh and a grandfatherly frown. The weight of thoughtful wisdom compressed my creaking shoulders. What, I asked him, might I feel if he broke my television and I couldn’t watch it. I asked him to put himself in my shoes.

Thinking time

He sat back, mental cogs whirring away. His lip trembled and he started to cry. My heart ached at his distress. Tears ran down his cheeks and his head hung. He’s a big kid with equally large sobs. I pulled him on to my lap and gave him a hug.

Man to man

Next, I stood him in front of me. We faced each other eye to eye. My lightbulb came on. This young human being was crying for me, for the pain he imagined he could cause me, and in grief, because he didn’t want to hurt me, ever.

Dry your eyes

I hugged him again, acknowledged his tears and told him how much I valued his love and concern … his gentle heart. His face lightened. We agreed it was never a good idea to shoot TVs and shared delight that the gogglebox survived without a mark. It wasn’t long before we were laughing and enjoying each others’ company as usual.

The gift

There was a gift in the situation for both of us:

  • For me? I’m filled with gratitude for a young person’s love and sincere intent not to harm me … even if, from time to time, he becomes a thoughtless human wrecking ball.
  • For him? I believe this grows empathy and a developing sense of being loved and respected, even when his behaviour deserves, and gets, a rebuke.

I don’t think he’ll be shooting TVs again any time soon.


The last time I wrote about him (gentle heart) was when he might have died.

© Mac Logan