What a week it's been in the wasteland of social graces: From a refusal to make the customary sportsman-like handshake, a reported Presidential snub and an inhospitable scolding with the index finger, to passing on a White House invite and pulling punches at a primary's political podium, incivility abounded. Champions of gracious behavior like me no doubt cringed at the tennis player who gave a cold shoulder rather than a handshake, the hockey puck who said 'no thanks' to an official invitation, Arizona's governor for what appeared to be the scolding of the commander-in-chief before the world's lenses, and if some reports are true, the President's own brush off. What was in the coffee these people were drinking this week?
And yet there, in the midst of all the bad form, was a petite woman with a pixie, struggling to ascend steps and speak in the nation's capitol, with a smile wider than the Mississippi river, reminding all of us of the indomitable spirit within. Watching Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who nearly lost her life in an assassination attempt, deliver her resignation, victorious in her battle to live, was the very epitome of Amazing Grace. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Giffords "the brightest star among us." Pelosi went on to say "she has brought the word 'dignity' to new heights by her courage."
And like Giffords, Friday's front page of The Bakersfield Californian featured the poignant photograph of a young man in the prime of his life, now at death's door, who was gifted, through the generosity of a loving community, the opportunity to put memories on file for loved ones. Amazing. Grace.
Too often on this blog and elsewhere, these 'lights' of hope and promise don't receive the attention they deserve. It it is easier to focus on the 'lemons' of a celebrity behaving badly rather than the 'lemonade' of the truly beautiful people in our midst.
May the Jose Gameros and Gabby Giffords inspire all of us to treasure the beauty of life, and of the amazing grace of valiance and bravery.
After all, it REALLY does 'Manner A lot'!