Saturday, 24 December 2016

We Wish You a Gentle Christmas

I recently found this little note on my desk at work, along with a packet of Ombar Coco Mylk Buttons.  I was so touched, and it really is the loveliest Christmas present.

Veganism means so much to me, and likewise to Phil.  Most people who know us don't actually realise quite how much. We don't tend to shout about it.  That's not to say that I haven't shouted about a lot of other things in the past. I'm not renowned for being the gentlest person.  For example, in my 'former life' if you put me between the fox and hunter well, my ferocious determination would do its level best to make sure that the ginger dog came out on top; even under the threat of attack or arrest.  So I was surprised in some ways to have the word 'gentle' applied to anything about me by my friend and work colleague Antonia.  I'm just not used to it.

Recently though, through a series of events that I will not delve into here, I have been exploring my gentler side and, along with Antonia's note, I realised that it has indeed been hidden in my veganism all these years!  For almost 30 years, both Phil and I have just 'been' when it comes to veganism and 'gentle' definitely goes a long way.  In that time, both of us have seen people we know turn to veganism; whether under our influence is neither clear or important but many have asked questions, sought advice, and been curious.  Some have remained vegan, others not.  To judge those who don't is 'throwing up fences' across their possible continuing journey.

Everybody has their own pathways to follow, and the journey into veganism should be one of self discovery rather than a guided package tour.  Some people respond to seeing horrific videos of animal abuse, some to reports of health benefits, or have their interest peaked by news of yet another celebrity or athlete turning to a plant based diet; whilst others may have watched Cowspiracy and made the environmental connection.   Some just sit on the sidelines and quietly watch. All these influences are valid and important as they reach people in all the myriad ways that people work.  A good counselor will gently lead the person to make their own conclusions. 

For me to have received this note from Antonia is a gift and a gentle reminder......literally.  It has reminded me that the gentle vegan approach is very relevant, as well as reinforcing that my own recent journey of gentle rediscovery has already been the start of another 'trip of a lifetime'.  

Antonia, I've always got my backpack on, and both Phil and I are here for you if you want to meet up at any point along the road.

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