Joseph Lahey, a renowned Psychologist, as a child had a crippled back. Joseph hated his own body due to this misfortune.
One day he stood in line at school waiting to be examined by the school doctor. He dreaded the moment when the doctor would say, “Joe, remove your shirt.”
Finally the terrible moment came. Joe fumbled with the buttons. His hands were shaking badly. At last the shirt was off.
The doctor looked at him and then did something very unusual. He walked around the desk, cupped the boy’s face in his big hands, and looked straight into the boy’s eyes.
“Son,” he said gently, “do you believe in God?”
“Yes, sir,” said the boy.
“Good!” said the doctor, “The more you believe in him, the more you believe in yourself.”
Then the doctor examined Joe and went back to the desk and wrote something on the chart. Then he left the room for a minute.
Joe’s eyes looked at the chart. He wondered what the doctor had written. Bracing himself for the worst, he inched forward to peek at the chart.
Under the heading “Physical Characteristics,” the doctor had written: “Joe has an unusually well-shaped head.” Joe couldn’t believe his eyes.
Soon the doctor returned. He checked a few more things on Joe. Then he said with a knowing smile. “Okay, Joe, you can put your shirt back on. Please send me the next boy.”
That brief episode in Joe’s life took place years ago. But the boy never forgot the gentleness and the encouraging words of that doctor.
Gentleness means recognizing that the world around us is fragile, especially other people. It is recognizing our own capacity to do harm and choosing instead to be tender, soft-spoken, soft-hearted, and careful. When we are gentle we touch the world in ways that protect and preserve it.
Quote: “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” – Albert Schweitzer