Those words are so easy to put down on paper, but so very hard to live by. We are often taught to not be so subjective, to be more objective and scientific. Yet, this plea for science is often a façade for the continuation of the same old approaches of the last century. Reports are written on the glory of time out, seclusion, physical management, and aversive punishments. Data are gathered; administrators appear happy. Articles are published, but, if we stop and look at the ark of a child or adult’s life, the old behaviors outlast the scientific articles that had announced the particular approach’s success.
Gentle Teaching is a subjective act that asks us to reflect on our own heart and being; it asks us to look at how authentic and deep is our own unconditional love. It asks us to analyze human suffering and to find ways to enter into a suffering person’s space and give the gifts of safe and loved, that eventually evolves into a sense of companionship. It is also a political act in the sense that we have a calling to set a strong and justice-based example to be kind to strangers and to be equally kind and loving to those whom, perhaps, many hate.