What does it really mean to say grace, show grace and give grace?
Once again we find ourselves at the start of another holiday season.
For most of us it's a time to reflect on the relationships we have to family, friends, colleagues, traditions, religious practices and so on.
For some of us it's a wonderful time, full of happiness, laughter and joy. For others it may be a sad time filled with loss, hardship and struggle. I think for most of us we experience a mixture of emotions, all of which seem especially apparent at this time of year.
When we say grace, traditionally it's at the beginning of a meal and we are expressing a collective gratitude for the food in front of us and for those who are with us to partake of it.
The dictionary doesn't really define the word grace that way in so many words, but I found that it descends from the Latin word gratia which has a distinct meaning of gratitude or thanks.
However, giving grace to others, takes on another distinct meaning, also descending from the Latin word gratia, and that is to show favor or goodwill.
It struck me though when I realized that the third distinct meaning for the word gratia, which is pleasing quality, is what made me realize how it is possible to give grace to others by looking at them wholly and to recognize their redeeming qualities first and foremost.
Exceptions aside, in most cases we as individuals are about more than a single issue, set of beliefs or viewpoints and sometimes it may be necessary to allow some space if we truly want to maintain valued relationships without compromising ourselves or our values.
With myself included, it is my hope that we as individuals, families, friends, co-workers and colleagues find the capacity within ourselves be aware, to have empathy, and to do our best to say grace, offer grace and show grace for ourselves, for what we have, for those who are near and dear to us, and for others along the way.
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