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Innocence (1893) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Both young children and lambs are symbols of goodness
Innocence (1893) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Both young children and lambs are symbols of goodness

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Gentleness is a personal quality which can be part of one's character. It consists in kindness, consideration and amiability. Being gentle has a long history in many, but not all cultures.

Aristotle used it in a technical sense as the virtue that strikes the mean with regard to anger: being too quick to anger is a vice, but so is being detached in a situation where anger is appropriate; justified and properly focused anger is named mildness or gentleness.

Gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch. It is a tender, compassionate approach toward others' weaknesses and limitations. A gentle person still speaks truth, sometimes even painful truth, but in doing so guards their tone so the truth can be well received.

Bryant McGil suggested we act with gentleness when we release ourselves from our wants and want from others, such as wanting others to mind read us, have their attention, expecting continued agreement and always pleasing us; “When you focus on want, you become an endless cycle of wants. To get, simply release, and then gently invite.”. We feel we know more about what we like about our partner, and make effort to know more about it.

A second important usage was common in medieval times, associated with higher social classes: hence the derivation of the terms gentleman, gentlewoman and gentry. The broadening of gentle behavior from a literal sense of the gentry to the metaphorical "like a gentleman" applicable to any person was a later development.

For certain he hath seen all perfectness. Who among other ladies hath seen mine: They that go with her humbly should combine
To thank their God for such peculiar grace. So perfect is the beauty of her face that it begets in no wise any sign Of envy, but draws round her a clear line Of love, and blessed faith, and gentleness. Merely the sight of her inakes all things bow: Not she herself alone is holier than all: but hers, through her, are raised above. From all her acts such lovely graces flow that truly one may never think of her without a passion of exceeding love.|Sonnet: Beauty Of Her Face, by Dante Alighieri

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gentleness" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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