There are Men too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

Do you know such men and women?

I do and I hold them in high esteem if they survive in a world where badass is championed and streetwise is celebrated because such men–and women–are not afraid to say there is much in the world that they do not want.

First edition cover

There are Men too Gentle to Live Among Wolves is of course the title of James Kavanaugh’s first of twenty-six books of poetry, a book that came out in 1970 and has gone through an infinite number of printings.

Kavanaugh (September 17, 1928 – 29 December 2009) was a priest in Flint, Michigan who called for church reform in his controversial 1967 book A Modern Priest looks at his Outdated Church. In his obituary, Aaron Dome said in the “Kalamazoo Gazette” that Kavanaugh “wrote in the book that he felt extreme frustration and confusion about being forced to give advice that was in accordance with the church, but that he felt was not in people’s best interest.”

Wayne Dyer said, “I can think of no living person who can put into words what we have all felt so deeply in our inner selves….”

That is his strength, putting into words what we have all felt, and I first found it in There are Men too Gentle to Live Among Wolves. We know there is a better way of life than the “I’m going to kick your ass” approach to interacting with others. It’s important to acknowledge this and then take a stand on its behalf.

As Kavanaugh wrote, “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.”

It’s not easy to stand against the popular tides of confrontation, political polarization, and cynicism, much less the insurrectionist, gun-toting groups that want to scare the rest of us into accepting their bankrupt notions.

But we have to try, don’t you think?


My novels include “At Sea” and “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”