When you think of graciousness or the act of being gracious, scenes of royalty, sophistication, and/or good manners might well come to mind. Well, Gumption and graciousness are not at all concerned with royalty and sophistication, but Gumption and graciousness have everything to do with good manners. Specifically, good manners in how you interact with others.
Graciousness is defined as pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous. A benevolent person freely expresses goodwill and kindly feelings while desiring to help others.
Forrest Gump was clearly a gracious man by that definition. Forrest was courteous, kindly, and he freely expressed his goodwill and desire to help others.
Today, we live in a world where royalty and sophistication have predominately given way to the self-made and casualness … most would agree that this is a long-term change for the better. During the last few decades, I sense that good manners have become passé, and rudeness is too often considered normal … or at least acceptable and/or routinely tolerated. I would argue that this change hasn’t helped our world.
A few years ago I came face to face with my own ugly way I thinking. I believed others should understand me and know what I’m thinking. I wasn’t taking full responsibility for my communication and my interactions with others. The result was some ungracious behavior on my part. While I wasn’t 100% across-the-board-rude, there was a 10 or 20% behavior on my part that was based on a feeling of entitlement. That entitlement thinking produced smirks, condescending remarks, gossip, and a feeling of superiority. I recognized this ungracious behavior was inconsistent with whom I wanted to be as person 100% of the time.
So being gracious became a rallying cry to help me in my interactions with others. Graciousness is both a way of thinking and a way of being that helps me interact with my fellow human beings in a kinder and more courteous way. Now, when I catch myself being less than gracious, I do the only gracious thing I can think of doing: I apologize … immediately!
Being gracious throughout the day helps me sleep better at night.
Next Blog Title: Gumption and Moxie
Next Blog Date: July 14, 2011