Familiarity breeds contempt. Spend more time with someone and you’ll get jaded. You’ll take things for granted, and get angry over smaller things. Hot buttons will emerge. They’ll be easier to punch as time goes on.
This is probably why marriage can be so hard. It’s easier to forgive the waitress who screwed up your food order than it is the wife who forgot to put the cap back on the toothpaste … again.
Grace doesn’t dwell well in a world of presumed outcomes. We force grace out of the way with our assumptions and our canned responses that are locked and loaded. We’re ready to fire away when the assumption is validated.
I’m in the market for a silver Honda Odyssey (though Jen is not). I see silver Honda Odysseys everywhere. It’s what I’m looking for, so it’s what I see. We go where we look and we see what we look for. Because we look for the assumption to be fulfilled with people we know, we’re more likely to see it.
We make ourselves part of the problem. We could practice grace to make ourselves part of a possible solution.
It’s easy to anticipate the bad outcome and play into it with a condemning response. Or we can hope for the good outcome and be graceful when it doesn’t happen.
This is as true in business as it is in life. It works with employees, partners and bosses and with fathers, mothers, children and wives.
Show some grace the next time someone screws up. They probably had either good will or ignorant obliviousness.
Instead of making others wrong. Practice grace. You might make the situation right.
How amazing is your grace? You might need to start using it to find out.
- Idiot’s Delight (ericwarheit.com)
- A Better Way to Handle Publicly Tweeted Complaints (blogs.hbr.org)
- Forgiving Makes You More Important (blogs.hbr.org)
- Mastering the Art of Living Meaningfully Well (blogs.hbr.org)