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.