When I was a teen, I thought the best thing you could do was to be cool. I had grand visions of myself, arriving in the airport to see my family; I would be wearing rows of piercings and awesome sunglasses. My life would be perfect then and everybody would be stunned. Oh, naive, young, teenage self.
The place were I lived seemed frozen in time, a relic of ages long gone, when mountain – men ruled the slopes and people still practiced “el silbo gomero” (a high-pitched whistling used to communicate across deep valleys). Urban and hip things only reached us through television and slow modem internet.
I thought it was the dullest thing ever. People who preferred simplicity, and cultivating potatoes in the countryside, seemed stupid to me. So I moved back to my place of origin, the place of cities, highways, traffic jams, massive scale bio-industry, multiculturalism and imported food.
I begun to notice people hurrying towards their futures, as if there was something better there; and as a reaction to it, my own life began to slow down. As I grew older, I´ve developed an enormous interest in listening, in silence. In tiny things, that make their way across the sand, in ladybugs, in raindrops.
I´m also aware that this makes me completely uncool. But I´ve stopped caring. Expectations of masculinity to be tough and be some kind of big achiever go by me. Walking around carrying an attitude of hostility and grandeur is something I achieve when I feel my safety depends on it, otherwise I leave it be.
Personally, I do not think that being a gentle man implies weakness, or a disposition to be used by everybody and their cousin – it simply means that you live in awareness of your own strength. In that place of peace, you then find compassion – for yourself, for other men, and an understanding for women.
If you are a gentle man, then I salute you. Let us set out, walk paths that others deem unimportant, and be perplexed by the smallest things.