Gentleness and toughness: How do we combine both into one character?

I’ve been thinking about what makes a good disposition to face the world with, to face the outside world, to face everybody else, the mix of all the people doing their own things.
Some people want to mess with you and other people under your protection, other people have more positive intentions, and we’re dealing with this whole mix of people all the time.
So how do we face them? What kind of an attitude or disposition do we face all these people with? So I’m looking at the continuum of being gentle and being tough.
And you know, being gentle seems like in many ways the ideal way.
I mean, if it wasn’t for bad actors, if it wasn’t for people with bad intentions, then we should be able to be gentle all the time and always be acting in love towards our brothers and sisters in the world, and having this kind of positive, helpful, loving disposition.
I mean, this seems like the ideal way to live.
But then, of course, we have the people that are not well-intentioned.
We have people that will take advantage of that.
So even if we start with this ideal of being loving towards all, then we face people that can easily take advantage of people’s good intentions.
And you know, if you are a purely gentle and loving person, and that’s all you are, that’s that’s your entire nature, then it seems like if you’re not being personally protected by somebody else, if you’re just alone in the world with pure loving intention, then you’re soon gonna run out of money, and maybe be hurt in many other ways as well.
Because we all need some way to protect ourselves against manipulation and abuse from the certain number of people in the world that want to do this to us. […]
So we need to have some measure of protection, and that’s this idea of being tough, where we close ourselves off from what’s around us.
We don’t let everything in.
We make a boundary, a wall, between us and other people, so that we can resist other people that are trying to attack us.
So this is the defensive state of mind, the defensive disposition, and really it can be an aggressive disposition where we’re ready to fight other people.
And with this way, we can have protection, almost like a turtle shell, you know, protecting ourselves, and we can resist all kinds of attacks and manipulation.
But then if we go too far in this direction, then we’re also closing ourselves off to actually interacting with other people, to sharing love with other people, to actually living as fellow living beings.
And if we go purely on the dark side of just being tough and ready to fight, then we are living a very closed off, lonely life.
And we could also be making the world worse for other people, because we’re just continuing and advancing this idea that it’s everybody against everybody else, and sort of promoting the idea that it’s all just a war of all against all.
And so this seems to be a balance at all times.
This seems to be some kind of a trade-off that we’re always making, and it seems like there is a balance that we need to make, and we need to have the ability to be both gentle and tough.
And this seems to be the way to handle this, from what I can see.
And I was inspired to talk about this after seeing a Bruce Lee movie, because I love how Bruce Lee has a very gentle and calm disposition in his character, and he’s just a very gentle, calm, polite guy, very humble, and he seems like a completely humble, gentle person.
He doesn’t project that he’s ready to fight you.
He doesn’t project that he is, you know, challenging you and he’s trying to overpower you.
But yet when it comes time to actually fight, when the actual threat is presented, he then comes out and does his, you know, comic-book-style beatdowns, and brings out full violence and has full toughness and full readiness to fight.
And it seems like this is a great combination to have, to be able to- and of course, this is an imaginary character that just made me think of this.
So we’re not all going to be, you know, bringing out kung fu in every situation.
But just a little hint of that kind of spirit of being able to combine a basic disposition of gentleness and love, and to have as our natural disposition that we want to be gentle, but then also being ready at any time to fight and defend when necessary.
Like being a coiled spring that is ready to act when necessary.
And it seems like maybe this is the ideal disposition to combine these two things together.
So I’d be curious to hear what you think about this.
What is the best way to combine this gentleness and lovingness with a shell, with a toughness and an ability to fight and defend? How do we combine these two things into one character?

#gentleandtough #disposition #gentleness #toughness

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