Here’s to the gentle ones, the patient, the meek, the givers-of-way, the yes-sayers, the followers.
Victory does not always come from prevailing. Here’s to the ones who do not push back, not because they cannot, but because, for any movement to happen, there must be force and there must be yielding. Many people think that victory is to move in the direction that they push in; the gentle ones know that victory is to move in the right direction, and they do not push.
Always in battle, there is more wisdom in knowing when to fight than in trying to win always. And the gentle ones too have likes, dislikes, fears and fixations. But they do not rejoice in imposing their will, because they know that everyone is imperfect, and likes and dislikes are born of passions and prejudices, and none of those is as important as other people are.
Here’s to the ones who take the long view, the kindly ones. In twenty years, the arguments will be forgotten, the disagreements will have long ceased to matter, and triumph and defeat will be doled out carelessly by indifferent Fortune; and if people remain in love, it goes not to the credit of the pushy ones, but the gentle ones.
When they make the effort to see things from someone else’s point of view, or when they give in so that someone else may derive a small satisfaction from forcing his own way in an inconsequential matter, they perform an act that many of us can never understand, and which few of us ever grow graceful in.
There’s no faintness in their hearts. They strive harder than the enterprising, seeking reward for everyone. They experience the pleasure of victory and the pain of defeat, but do not allow themselves to become bitter or vainglorious. They have their preferences about the company they keep, but they allow no one to feel the sting of their wrath or sarcasm or spite, though it be much deserved.
Eventually, they too will die, as everyone else will too. And though their names will not be on the pillars and the parchments and the history-books, what made all things possible is not the effort of the passionate, but the effort of the patient.
If you have met the gentle ones, treasure them, befriend them, and strive (however imperfectly) to emulate them. In any hundred people, there are no more than 4, perhaps 5, of them; but because they are, the world is.