Disgraceful. That’s all I can say about last night’s Republican presidential debate. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse… they did! We’ve come to a pretty low point as a society when a presidential contender makes reference to the size of his…um…junk-in-the-trunk…his family jewels…a part of his anatomy…you get my drift….and, on national television! I literally choked on the wine I was sipping. So, bravo Mr. Trump; our country has the stain of yet another distasteful sound-bite that will reverberate around the globe, and for years to come I suspect. While this may have been appropriate for a late-night stand-up comedienne, it wasn’t necessary for a presidential debate on prime-time television…where children–our nation’s future leaders–were watching.
In the book, The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life, Pulitzer Prize winning author Sarah L. Kaufman speaks to the belief (and centuries-old practices) that grace is essential to civilized living. And, she points to the fact that we have indeed lost sight of so many aspects of grace. Manners, civility, how we move, how we interact with others, and how well we comport ourselves in a variety of social situations seems to be a forgotten art. Ease, gentleness, awareness, being comfortable in one’s own skin, peacefulness, respect, thinking beyond oneself are just a few examples of grace. We’re becoming horribly out-of-kilter as a society. We’re rushed, lacking control, impatient, mean-spirited, fragmented, ego-driven and downright disrespectful. We’re so plugged-in to devices and social media that we’ve actually become completely inept in all the social graces. With the explosion of social media in recent years, we’re a society that delights in creating conflict. We are becoming a nation of bullies, thriving on scandal, and reveling in creating and causing pain and humiliation upon others, no matter the consequences. So many in our society have little regard for those around them and it is glaringly painful to witness such bad behavior nearly on a daily basis. From the guy yelling obscenities out the car window to beatings caught on video, aired for all to view on social media…along with a plethora of nauseating comments. A blatant disregard for others –this inhumanity–seems to be a virus that is spreading out of control. People without an ounce of dignity nor self-control, spewing whatever comes to mind (because, after all, it’s their 1st Amendment right), vitriol and nasty “humor” alike.
So much emotional ugliness…mockery, anger, bullying, mud-slinging…it’s all there, and more. And now we have watched it unfold, not once, but multiple times on national television with our presidential candidates. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I’ve got to actually vote for one of these guys…not one who seems to have a civil, gentlemanly bone in their body (well…except for Dr. Ben Carson). And, not that I’d ever vote for another Clinton in the White House…but alas, she also lacks grace. There is nothing genuine, charming, or truthful about her. In my humble opinion.
These last few weeks makes me want to literally pour a cup of tea and climb into a Downtown Abbey episode never to re-surface. Since that cannot happen, I’ll just keep reading The Art of Grace (I’m only a third of the way through at the moment) learning what I can. Second to that, in the spirit of be the change, I’ll do whatever it takes to practice mindfulness (with full knowledge that perfection is not the goal)— in the art of grace and otherwise—in my everyday journey through this out-of-kilter world.
As for my world tonight? Rocket-man is on his way home.