Gracious Living

One of the hallmarks of an effective parent, manager or leader is the attitude of graciousness. Gracious living is much more than a technique, in fact, it is a general approach to living that gives evidence of a refined relationship to life itself.

What is life, anyway? Is it something that you have or something that you are? Does it exist beyond the confines of the material world? Is it eternal or does it come and go, being bound by the temporal? Your answer to these questions forms the springboard for your living. Moreover, your perspective on life establishes the vector upon which your core beliefs, worldview, preferences and proclivities are carried.

In my view, life is an eternal quality or condition. It is one thing, yet it differentiates into many aspects. You and I are vitalized by life and are thus unified by our common origin, yet you and I are a unique focal point of the whole of life.

Life animates forms such as our physical bodies, minds and hearts and these forms are naught but the vehicle for its expression. You are endowed with the responsibility of choosing exactly how you will color the life that you are, which is the essence of free will.

When you view life in this way, you see that you need not live your life fearing death, for death is simply the passing of the form that you have and not the demise of the life that you are. You also realize that you have the opportunity to exercise your free will to make the most of the time you have.

Graciousness is the natural by-product of this relationship to life, for it mitigates the need for an ego (you are who you are) and it reduces the likelihood that you will clash with others’ egos (it takes two to tango). Finally, the shift in identity caused by this perspective on life provides you with the ability to transcend the confines of human nature (you stop mistakenly saying “I’m only human).

The sooner you stop trying to make something of yourself and learn to simply be who you are, the better. The tiresome business of self-invention and self-promotion is at the core of most of the conflict we have in the world today. Graciousness, that rare and noble quality, is only reserved unto those who recognize and more importantly, live their lives in accordance with this simple truth.

8 thoughts on “Gracious Living

  1. Colin

    Graciousness is something that we see far too little of in the world. I think it would be safe to say that most people have not thought enough about what they believe life is to even come to a conclusion about how they should be acting in relationship to that idea. This missing piece is seen when you just go through the motions of live, existing but not really living. I think that seeing life in the way you describe can be a catalyst that will sort out many of the problems that people seem to struggle with; it’s reminiscent of the Gordian knot. I find that graciousness is an important part of my life, and there are always ways to make it better.

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  2. Donna

    From a manager’s perspective, I love this: “The sooner you stop trying to make something of yourself and learn to simply be who you are, the better.

    Fresh perspectives make all the difference!

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  3. DeeDee

    Having just read your post “Order out of Chaos,” graciousness is definitely the quality needed to let that process work out. Outstanding post(s)!

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  4. David R

    So much cntained in this word: graciousness. Expansiveness, slowness to judge, forgiveness, vision, boundless appreciation, kindness, courtesy, thoughtfulness – all of these are elements of being, not just actions or strategies. When expressed in genuineness, they reveal who we are to the world. I venture to say that the world could use those qualities now more than ever!

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  5. We have life or we are life. It is wonderful to differentiate the two. It is probably a good exercise to see how the experience of our living tells the tale which perspective we are holding regarding our considerations and circumstances. The thoughts that spring from having life can regard we only have so much time only so much money.All springing from a sense of desperation. With a we are life perspective a largeness of perspective and understanding of our worlds and others comes. Here graciousness is a natural result which in turn can allow for an emanation of life through ourselves that welcomes all into the experience of life.

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  6. Rowan

    It is so much simpler to relax and be yourself, verses trying to create the appearance of being someone else. Thanks for pointing out such a simple fact of life.

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  7. Lady Leo

    My grandmother used to describe some people as being comfortable in their own skin. They seemed to be those that were at home in most any situation, not chafing against others or situations. Their presence seems to improves all circumstances as their graciousness brings a calming balm, the rock of unwavering principle and non-judgmental acceptance that allows others to more easily find their footing as well. Thank you I enjoyed your thoughts today.

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