Sunday, August 27, 2017

Grace and Gratitude

While enjoying one of the many education-related Twitter chats I step into during the week (this one was #WeLeadEd), I was struck by some comments made about grace. The discussion had moved to highlight the importance for everyone to work within a system that honors the fact that we all make mistakes. Several people mentioned needing grace to achieve this.

Grace is a big concept. The Art of Grace website does a phenomenal job describing it and its place in all the world’s cultures. While many are familiar with Christian interpretations, such as those voiced by Fr. Richard Rohr, the concept is found around the globe. In a nutshell, grace means feeling balanced from the inside and with the outside world. You are comfortable with who you are and where you are. With that mindset, you can freely accept failures as temporary.

Grace is universal but it’s also a state that, in my experience, comes and goes. One thing that I feel triggers a state of grace is gratitude.

When we struggle, we can gain some composure by listing things that we’re grateful for: food, shelter, family and friends. We can then dig deeper and describe more specific things we are thankful for: moments, words, places and times. With the comfort we obtain by all this, we can extend that warmth and share it with others. The simple act of writing and sending a sincere thank you note can be a moment of grace, which could end up being the window the other person needed to see a way to experience grace themselves.

If we feel safe, we are able to deal with trials. We feel more able to handle stress. We treat our bodies better by not attempting to drown problems with unhealthy practices. We see obstacles as bumps in the road instead of insurmountable barriers.

Grace and gratitude. Important concepts for us all to remember. Together.

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