Gentleness means carefully using one's strength and power in the world so as not to diminish another. Gentlemen (and gentle-women!) demonstrate respect and consideration for others by their thoughtful manner and accommodating deference, speaking and acting in ways that support others in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Generosity is the antithesis of selfishness. Those who give freely of what they have are those who place greater priority on people than on things. Generosity of spirit means giving of one's talents and resources without expectation of payback, but simply for the warm feeling of helping another and the sense of connectedness such giving brings to that which is much greater than oneself.
Truthfulness is more than simply not lying to others. It means being so full of truth that one sees and knows things as they really are—and feeling compelled to speak that truth when it needs to be spoken. It means being so uncomfortable with deceit as to feel driven to help others know and face the truths in their lives as well, trusting in the fact that honesty is the only way to peace.
First and foremost, kindness means active compassion for others, demonstrating care and concern beyond the self. This means including and celebrating people different than us, reaching out to others who may need an extra invitation to know they are a welcome, valued part of the group. Kindness also consists of being kind to oneself, learning to self-advocate, to manage stress in a healthy way, to know one’s strengths and one’s limits. Finally, kindness also encompasses being kind to the world around us from cleaning up one’s classroom to the working for the long-term viability of the planet.
Bravery does not mean not being scared—it means doing the right thing anyway. Courage is especially hard for children, for their lack of experience can make even the smallest acts of heroism seem too dangerous, socially or otherwise. But good intentions have no effect when the courage to act is missing. When we urge Trinity students to be brave, we are calling them to become upstanders who do what is right even when it is difficult, and thereby make the world a better place.