Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Living Gracefully

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
-Philo of Alexandria

If there is one thing I truly lack, it is grace.

I'm not talking about physical grace. Don't get me wrong -- there are those that will immediately point out that I'm not exactly lithe and light on my feet. I'm talking about grace, that innate ability to be kind to those around you despite whatever it is that's on your mind.

The quote I opened with is one I borrowed from the Truth Box series over on SDL, a weekly reminder that you never really know what the person next to you is going through. We as a species are very, very good at pretending everything's okay, or at adopting a tough face to deal with life. In the process, we get very selfish and forget that life isn't really easy for anyone. We treat each other badly for reasons that make no sense, ignoring that we're all human and we're all struggling.

I am just as bad as anyone.

This week, moreso than many, this has been made repeatedly obvious to me. Things have gotten nutty at times and instead of being graceful, I have been downright surly. Which means that the next person that irritates me gets it back at twice the strength expected (or three times, or four times...). Which then continues from them to the next person, because as humans we pass along what gets passed to us.

No one deserves that.

It gets worse, unfortunately. I've been lacking patience with those who have been incredibly tolerant of my new-kid-ness, and that is unacceptable.

But the first step is admitting you have a problem. I am not grace-full. If I can remember that each person is dealing with his or her own struggle, maybe I can learn to have a bit more grace toward them.

After all, if I don't start by changing it within myself, I can't expect the same treatment from anyone else.

It's not going to be easy. But considering where I am and what I do for a living -- particularly the part where I get to be around people all the time -- I'm thinking maybe it would be a good change.

With that, I leave you with the sign-off for Mark Wheat, one of the DJs for The Current (my happy music this evening)...

Be peaceful with one another.

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