The beginning of the month brings another short reflection from Angeles Arrien’s Living in Gratitude. Her chapter for May is a reflection on the idea of grace, which she defines as “an experience in which individuals slip out of ordinary space and time, where there is no separation between themselves and the world around them, and everything seems perfect just as it is.”
She goes on to make an interesting connection between grace, gratitude, and gravitas, which all share the same root word. Gravitas is what happens when people internalize and integrate their experience of grace, she writes. People with gravitas draw us to them because they embody dignity, integrity, wisdom, substance and presence.
I know a few such people–do you? I think in particular of a friend of mine dying from cancer. Each time I see her she seems both deeper and lighter. Deeper in that she is more reflective, more thoughtful, and more astute, and lighter in that the petty concerns of ordinary life no longer seem to cling to her. That word gravitas is just right in describing her, for she seems to have a gravitational force of her own, drawing people into her orbit.
So in honor of my friend, let me leave you with that wonderful song Amazing Grace, as sung by the Soweto Gospel Choir: