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Gentle Beings Interview with Meg Adler

I had the honor of meeting Meg while we were both students at Yale Divinity School. I was struck by her gentle-candor, and the way she viewed the world with curiosity and depth. Meg is a scholar-advocate, and artist, who views everything and everyone with awe and wonder. It was an honor interviewing her for Gentle Beings! Find out more at or check out her recent creative work at !

Hi Meg! Welcome to Gentle Beings and thank you for being here! Can you describe your first encounter with Gentleness?

The first thing that comes to mind is my grandfather – we called him Pop. He used to carry a comb in his back pocket and would give it to us (my sister and I ) as young kids to comb his hair. He would tell us "make me look cute!" And we would giggle so hard. Whenever we combed his hair too aggressively he'd shout "Gentle! Gentle!" and we'd laugh more. It was such a playful time.

What does Gentleness feel like?

Gentleness feels like catching an egg during an egg toss.

If Gentleness were an image how would you paint this scene?

I'd paint soft colors – muted colors – maybe even a foggy day, little breeze sounds and a cat napping in the one stream of sun coming through the window.

In what ways are you uniquely Gentle?

Am I gentle? Sometimes I'm not sure. I'm gentle with kids' feelings and needs. I'm gentle with my father who has Lewy Body Dementia and needs lots of patience and forgiveness. I wish I was more gentle with myself.

What is something you’d love to see the World do to be more Gentle?

I wish the world (maybe just the U.S. I can only speak for what I know) was more gentle with grief and loss. This doesn't mean tip-toeing around people who are grieving, quite the opposite. It means I wish we all were ready to catch the egg in the egg toss that is grief, and that we were patient enough to sit with it so it can be fully felt. Err, grief is felt regardless, but sometimes it is felt by people who didn't need to be the ones to bear it. What I mean to say is, being alive is a tremendous thing; I wish we were more gentle with the absolute pain of it as well.

Poem and artwork by Meg Adler

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