You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘graciousness’ tag.

Ruth’s right. The world is getting less and less gracious by the millisecond. Perhaps it has something to do with our attenuated attention spans. The last time I was at Disneyland, I was astounded by the number of people talking and texting on their phones. You’re at Disneyland. How is that not exciting enough for you? How can you possibly need more stimulation?

The paradox is that we need grace more than ever these days. There are so many more of us to accommodate. So much more to forgive. I once tried to eat a lovely Chinese dinner while the woman at the next table enthused (loudly) about the intimate details of her father’s illness (his blackened toe, what it looked like after surgery) over her cell phone. And when one call ended, she called the next person and related the same. gory. information. I never needed divine intervention more. Also, an anti-nausea pill.

I’m going to suggest something radical. Let’s put down our phones and attune ourselves to those around us. Let’s become aware of each other. Maybe without our Smartphones glued to our ears, we will hear the needs of our neighbors. Because graciousness is goodness, and goodness is God-ness. I want to be in the business of God, and I’m sure you do, too. We’re just too busy talking on the phone.

It was another sweltering New Jersey day, and the pizza guy was feeling it.  You could see as he schlepped the pizza up to my front door that he was too through with his job today.  But then, his mood brightened.

“Do you need change?”  he asked, handing me the pizza.  “Nah, you keep it.”  Suddenly he was in a much better frame of mind.  “Thank you very much, ma’am!  Have a wonderful day!”

Two issues came up from this two-minute transaction.

Like most people, I always tip the delivery guy.  I know they rely on that money.  But don’t they know it’s presumptuous to ask if the customer needs change back?  That’s like saying, “How much of a tip are you giving me?”  This may just be my own hang-up about decorum, but it’s also a matter of grace.

Is it just the zeitgeist here in New Jersey, or are people in general becoming less gracious in their dealings with others?

Grace has been such an important concept in my own life.  The pizza guy’s unintentional infraction reminded me of something – an important prayer was answered for me, just this morning, and it took me over an hour to remember to extend my thanks to God.  I realized that grace can’t be bought with a fresh hot pizza; for that matter, I’m not sure it can even be taught.

The second thing is, if it’s that simple to go from a bad mood to a good one, how do we bottle it?  Five dollars.  It just took that small amount of cash in his hand for the pizza guy to perk up.  What mental mood shifter can we use to get from Point A (as in, angry or annoyed) to Point B (maybe, better?)

For me, anytime I start to dwell on the negative, I always bring it back to prayer. In short order, even on a hot Jersey day, things start to cool down.  And no tip required.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

%d bloggers like this: