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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Words That Can Haunt Me, Part 4: Grace

I've been paid many compliments in my life. Some of those compliments have been deserved, some not. I can't recall anyone, even people who care deeply about me, ever calling me gracious.

Not long ago at a book club meeting, I listened to a woman thank the group for the insights she was taking away from that meeting based on what others had contributed about the book. I had noticed this particular woman's quiet grace at earlier meetings so her words to the group did not surprise me. But I was moved and humbled in equal measure. When I later spoke with the leader of the group about the graciousness of this woman, the leader told me she'd had the same thought.

More recently, I was asked to give a presentation at a retirement dinner for a woman who was my secretary for 7 years. While preparing my remarks, the word grace kept popping into my head. I recalled how year after year my secretary had acted in a quietly dignified way. She never raised her voice, rarely lost her cool, & invariably found nice things to say of others. Grace.     

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