Living? See Sailing.
The art of living gracefully can be compared to catching
the wind and sailing to your destination whichever way
If the wind's astern, you're shooting forward. If
it's abeam, you set your sails to skim leaningly to your
destination. Even if you're heading into the wind, you
can tack this way and that and get where you're going.
Stormy weather? You trim your sails or just luff into
the wind till it's over. No wind? Call it a rest stop.
Graceful living? It's all a matter of attitude. You
believe, you just know, that there's a force for good at
work, yours and everyone else's. And you know how to go
with that flow, trimming your sails and steering as
events demand. Your destination remains constant.
In the everyday journey of life, dictionaries tells
us, graceful means displaying elegance and beauty—the
word "elegance" meaning skillful ease. To put
it another way, it means not showing awkwardness,
shabbiness or ugliness. And in case we need to define
living, we can say it's the state of animated being
between our entrance into this world and our exit. But
the key word in today's topic is "graceful."
In practical terms, perhaps we can agree that it
means rising above earthly matters. And in a spiritual
sense, that it depicts a Godly quality, or generosity of
Now to some people, graceful living comes naturally.
They are a joy to their fellows--and to themselves. Some
would say they have God's gift. But don't we all? Is it
that we need more readily to claim it?
Perhaps some of us have been conditioned by difficult
experiences. Our turn of mind may have led a few to
complain too often, "They done me wrong." But
there's hope for all who might tend to hamper their own
happiness. Instead, whatever their complaint, they can
turn their heads to life, not to grievance.
Which comes down to the ages-old advice to all of us
to give thanks. However much blame we might feel
entitled to cast--on people or circumstances--we are, at
least alive. And even if deprived in some areas of our
earthly ways, our inner being or soul can always assure
us of our serenity. We may not give it its due, but it
is there for all, given as life itself by whatever is
the cause of all.
So graceful living comes as a gift, so natural we
really don't have to think about it. All we need do is
let it take us by the hand.
Who can forget Helen Keller, who was one of the most
serene people in the world in recent times? Blind as
well as deaf and dumb from birth, she exulted in life.
It's even recorded that she was a great fan of popular
music. Once, at a gathering in Palm Beach where a band
was playing "Old Black Joe," she reached for
her handkerchief, saying, "That tune always makes
me cry." Then she went over to the bandstand,
placing one hand on the piano, to "conduct"
the band with the other. Even when the bandleader
changed the tempo, playfully trying to fool her, she did
too, staying right on beat. Through her sensitive touch,
she demonstrated a sixth and subtle sense of grace that
charged her life and that of those around her.
Another state of grace comes to mind, too, in one
whose name it was--Grace Kelly, the modern image, one
might say, of a Mona Lisa. It seems apt that from that
presence she projected on the movie screen, she went on
to be called Her Serene Highness.
We ourselves need not stretch to such fame, of
course, to achieve graceful living. Heart-felt thanks
for joys large or small puts us on the graceful living
track. And that can lead us to wonderful horizons.
©Copyright 2003 Hubert
Pryor. All Rights Reserved.
Hubert Pryor is a retired editor of national
magazines--Modern Maturity and Science Digest among
others--Hubert Pryor is the author of SOUL TALK:
Positive Mind Treatments to Turn Your Life Around
(available through DeVorss & Co., 553 Constitution
Ave., Camarillo, CA 93012, 800-843-5743, www.devorss.com)
and a forthcoming book, SERENITY 101: Spiritual
Wisdom, Ancient and Modern, for Peace of Mind Today.
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