“I am gentle, but not a pushover.”
– Bear, .hack//Sign
Episode 1, “Role Play”
I really like this quote.
There’s not much context surrounding it, but we do see, throughout the series, that Bear is a fairly gentle, nurturing soul. He’s willing to protect people, but he’s also concerned with helping them grow stronger, which means supporting them as needed while letting them do things on their own. He’s quite the decent parental figure to the younger people around him, really. Part of that, however, is knowing when to be firm.
“Firm,” it is worth noting, is not the same as being aggressive or hostile. It is to be solid and unyielding, like the ground which supports our every step.
People often mistake gentleness for weakness, and confuse the ability to break things for strength. In the latter case, they forget that quicksand doesn’t break anything, but it is exceptionally deadly. In the former case, they also forget that the arms that hold a child safely while they weep are gentle indeed, but so very firm and strong.
It takes strength indeed to nurture others.
It takes strength to be gentle.