Does anyone value graciousness anymore? Can you define it? Merriam-Webster offers several different definitions including Godly, kind, graceful, and merciful. The ones that interested me most were marked by tact and delicacy and characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding.
Lifestyle Lounge offers some lessons on graciousness. They suggest that graciousness is about how you make the other people around you feel. Here are some of their suggestions.
Consider these 10 Characteristics of a Gracious Person from www.godhungry.org.
The question that pops into my mind is “Where has this quality gone and how do we get it back?” I actually know a few people I would describe as gracious. While it may come naturally to them now, I suspect they had role models who exemplified graciousness and that it was also specifically taught and rewarded. I see examples in our current culture which promote competing values that make graciousness more difficult.
What is the consequence associated with the absence of graciousness? Francis Bacon said, “If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.” Gracious individuals attract others to them. The absence of graciousness would lead to separation and isolation. Graciousness invites cooperation and compromise. The absence of graciousness leads to argument, division, and conflict.
I suspect that the lack of graciousness is cultivated by fear and anxiety. We, as a society, are so worried about making sure we get “our share” or that we “won’t have enough” that we cannot even see what is happening. What are you modeling for your children? Do your children see you thanking others, even for the small things? Do they hear you thanking them? How often do you embarrass your children? When your children talk, do you give them your undivided attention or do you use it as a time to play on your phone or multitask? Do you focus on your blessings and all the good things that are all around you or do you focus on problems?
I am really not advocating a society in which we ignore problems, fail to correct errors, or overlook deficits. I do believe that if we are engaging in activities with graciousness as a characteristic of who we are, it can have a positive effect. Remember, graciousness is the use of tact and awareness of other people’s feelings. It suggests that their feelings are at least as important, if not more important, than our own.
I am concerned that graciousness is becoming a lost art. I’m as guilty as anyone else. I plan to work harder to re-introduce graciousness back into my life. Are you?
SEX. Now that’s a word that gets your attention. Men and women spend great amounts of time thinking about sex, wishing for sex, having sex, and complaining about sex. Few couples have the skills to discuss, request, or negotiate sex successfully. Couples also don’t appear to understand why sexual expression is so problematic.
Would you like to learn about sex and passion, increase your sexual confidence, rekindle passion, and keep romance alive? If so, consider reading Mars and Venus in the Bedroom by John Gray. This is an older book but continues to be relevant today. Dr. Gray’s books are easy to read, but be forewarned, he writes about sex, sexuality, and intimacy with the same candor that you would expect of a weather report. Perhaps that is the important first lesson of this book.