“When from our better selves we have too long been parted by the hurrying world, and droop. Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, how gracious, how benign is solitude.”
William Wordsworth, 1770-1850
English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads.
Being a thoughtful person has to include some graciousness. Kindness, benevolence, and courtesy are ways in which I want to go about my life on this earth. Thrown into many situations that at times can seem senseless, a gracious attitude helps me stay human. That’s the way I want to be as a caregiver. I’ll resist any temptations to be polite in a fake way. I want my efforts to be characterized by good taste, comfort, and ease. I know these things are less challenging to think about than do.
Mercy has to be part of a gracious life. I will need it, and I will have to offer it. Even though somebody may have done something that is wrong or just misdirected, deepening in trust with them means that I’ll be generous in my judgments. I will assume the most generous things about the words attentions and behaviors of those with whom I live and work while also working for accountability. I know it’s not an easy balance. If I have authority over others, I hope I can be indulgent, showing my true self, and even sharing my insecurities at times.
There is so much in life that can anger me. But being gracious helps me temper it. Even my attitude toward nature around me can be mitigated with acceptance and courage.
Gracious Love, thank you for awakening in me an awareness of the power available to me by being vulnerable and not resisting it. In my efforts to be kind give me good judgment so that I may help to smooth the rough spots that come with living. Knowing that as a gracious leader I can help many, give me courage. AMEN.
ACTION: Do you consider yourself to be a gracious person? Why or why not? If not, can you take some steps to smooth some rough edges? If so, who helped to form those attitudes? How can you thank them?
About the Photographer
Janet Antonacci is native to Westchester, New York, where as a child her morning rides to school included views of the river she now calls her artistic muse. She made her career in advertising, and wrote and shot commercials all over the world. In a sense, leaving her job to raise two sons only marked the rebirth of her creative endeavors. She has continued to write-her work has been published by The New York Times and others-and study her original craft over the years. She presently resides in Ossining, a stone’s throw from the Hudson. It’s the river and the towns that surround it, the bleeding sunsets and the faces of the fisherman who cast into them, that speak most clearly to Janet as she continues to find new ways to do what she’s done all her life: uncover meaning and create art.
See more of her work: @janriverworksphotography at Instagram. Thanks, Janet, for sharing your beautiful photos in this series we are calling, Thoughtfulness.
This past week, Jade, César and I returned to our friends at Pacoxpon and had the opportunity to meet with Ramiro, the head of the health committee, and his team. They brought together over 40 members of the community to discuss with them the findings of the assessment that took place with the group of Hopkins student nurses in January.
There were six items that the committee wants to address; preventative medicine, medicinal plants, water and sanitation, first aid, garbage, and climate change. The community decided through a process to focus first on learning more about the possibilities of medicinal plants.
The challenge to us is to remain a resource and support the community in as they find their way through these issues. It takes some discipline on our parts to remain committed to allowing them to make the decisions and not to sway them one way or the other. They want us to take over but we know that will not be the best way for them. Please keep us in your thoughts.
The work in Pacoxpon is a pilot. Nursing Heart is trying to learn how we can best support health committees in these small pueblos to serve their communities in more helpful ways. It takes resources to do this. Can you help us by becoming a monthly donor? It’s very easy and would help us immensely to continue this work:Become a monthly donor.
The large group from the University of Minnesota has arrived. We are looking forward to a great week ahead.
Peace, Ron Founding Director Nursing Heart Inc
Quote of the Week
We are always eager to share your thoughts on nursing care in this space! -Nursing Heart