Gentleness is having the power but deliberately not using it. Gentleness is self-control - expressed in calm and a confidence in the presence of God. It is a trust that God is meaningful. Gentleness is a disposition in sync with the larger picture. Gentleness is a virtue backed up by what the Bible calls, I find, the power of the Holy Spirit. The activity, vitality, life-inducing, life-empowering action of Good. It is something that exists - not as dream, but as a reality. Anybody expressing gentleness has the power to refrain from retaliation and engages in peacebuilding. The prerogative of the Holy Spirit. "A gentle answer turns away wrath" says Proverbs 15:1.
Gentleness does not encourage others to do what they want. Gentleness means that the power is on the side of good. And that you know that. So whatever others choose to do - gentleness is what you choose to do. Because you can.
Writing a blog is a little bit like opening the door to my study and let you peek into my life while it is happening. This time I am opening the door to my kitchen and let you peek into it while we set the table, cook a variety of foods and prepare for a special guest: Ron Radford.
This extraordinary musician and most of all most extraordinary individual is on tour in Europe. He came to Berlin with his Flamenco guitar for a charity concert on behalf of the Roger McGowen Fund, supporting an innocent man in a US prison who is serving a life sentence without reason and who has been rising to such a level of forgiveness and unselfishness that it even blesses those outside the prison walls. This life story is worthy of our full attention and it does have our family attention since we joined Pierre Pradervand and others in their prayerful stance for justice, human rights, and a divine forgiveness that comes only through blessing others. Pierre Pradervand's book Messages of Life from Death Row is an extraordinary, moving read. You can find it in any bookstore close by. Pierre Pradervand, Ron Radford, and many others are active and up and about every day, paying for legal fees, doing fundraising, speaking to Roger every day, taking a practical stand for Truth in the most modest and moving way.
While sitting at lunch, we exchanged ideas - divine ideas, free ideas, grand ideas.
Like the Platinum Rule. Ron Radford explained that he thought that there is an upgrade to the Golden Rule, namely the Platinum Rule. The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated. In many religions and cultures this rule is present, of course. And it is a wonderful, powerful rule, because it shows that everything in life is linked to each other. Our fates are linked to each other in such a way, that we cannot expect f.e. a happy life if we don't actively work for the happiness of others as well; we cannot expect fair treatment if we don't give others fair treatment; we cannot expect to meet with honesty when we withhold a portion of truth from ourselves or others.
Now here comes the upgrade: While the Golden Rule teaches to treat others as one would wish to be treated, the Platinum Rule teaches to treat others as they would wish to be treated. There is no element of selfishness left, not even the tiniest rest. Just the pure desire that others might be treated in the best possible way without expecting anything in return. Expectancy to receive anything in return even undermines the power of the Platinum Rule.
When we spoke about the Platinum Rule, I brought Christ Jesus into the room. I had noticed during my Bible study, that he himself introduces an upgrade, too. This is what I mean: Jesus has just washed his disciples feet, Judas just left the dinner table to betray "the best man that ever trode the globe " (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, p. 52) and Jesus starts a final thorough teaching which includes this statement:
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13: 34,35)
The old commandment would have been the Golden Rule, but the new commandment is a love that is unselfish and kind, that washes feet and forgives, the Christ love, that is more like an endless stream than a social contract. More like a gift than the momentary quiet that comes from knowing that one is doing the right thing. The Platinum Rule.
As you contemplate this new insight, I invite you to spend your next break with Ron Radford as he shares with you not only wisdom and spirituality, but also his fabulous guitar playing. Find him on his website, too:
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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