Thursday, July 7, 2011

Learning To Be Gracious

As a young woman I was not always so willing to accept good things. 

Compliments paid me were brushed aside.  I thought I was unworthy.  I thought people were just being polite.  “Just” being polite?!  Where were my manners?  Why was I so jaded to think people would say something untrue?

Well, I am learning.  Now when someone says something nice to me, I say “Thank you.”
It does not always come easy, but the older I get the easier it is to love myself, faults included.

After landing a job I really, really wanted many years ago, a friend told me I got the job because I had made a good impression on the wife of the department head.  I really didn’t know the department heads wife, but I had sat next to her at a community ballet.  We had shared the talk of strangers with a common interest and I never saw again her after that night. 

I remember how I fought against the idea that I had got that job on anything less than my abilities.  I didn’t like being told that knowing someone had gotten me that job.  Being “nice” was not how people got jobs, they got them because of resumes and skill sets.  Right? Right?

Again, I am learning.  Now I can look back on that moment and value myself for the impression I made on the department heads wife and do less devaluing of myself for the notion that the job was handed to me.  The job was not handed to me because good impressions aside I had to have the skills to perform the job.  A job is not always about how able you are.  Doing well at your job is also about how you get along with others and what they think of you.  So even though that was many years ago and many states away I offer thanks for the opinion of the department heads wife.

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