I looked up the word to see if it was what I believed it to be.  My definition matched with what I found.  I also discovered synonyms of the word gracious that include – cordial, affable, genial, sociable means markedly pleasant and easy in social intercourse.

Gracious implies courtesy and kindly consideration.

Being a man and a leader, I often feel like I as well as other men lose sight of extending graciousness to others.  Too often, we are caught up in being focused on our goals, plans, and desires that we forget this important trait.  Men have the ability to compartmentalize their lives and in doing so we go from one project to the next just focused on what needs to be done.  It is how we as men are designed, it is not bad, but we do need to learn how to make it all blend and work for us.  Day-to-day living often means we are caught up in our own thoughts and actions and forget about others.  As men, we are focused driven and we want to “conquer the mountain.”  In our minds we always about fixing things and making them better.  We see a problem that needs fixing and away we go, we have already got the problem solved and now we have to fix it.  In doing so we often forget those around us have input or thoughts.  We cannot stop long enough to take the time to hear them and just end up brushing them off.  We can be curt, blow people off and think I have it all figured out I do not need to hear what you have to say.

I am not sure at what point things changed for me; somewhere in my early 20’s I became a snob.  I would only associate myself with certain types of people and I did not want to be seen or have anything to do with “other types” (the list was lengthy of who I did not believe was good enough to be in my life) of people.  I often had the attitude that I was better than others and I did not need to talk to you or associate with you.  If someone whom I perceived as being less than me came up to me, I would try to avoid them or look past them.  If they attempted to engage me in conversation, I would give a quick answer and walk away.  Too many times, I just ignored folks.  If I was forced to be in group settings with folks who were on “my list” I would suffer through it, (my body language could tell you that) and then act like what they had to say or share was of no importance and they should just shut their mouths.

As a supervisor, I carried on these traits as well.  Because I am a man and I am in charge, my ways are correct and I do not want to hear what you have to say because I know better than you.  So, just shut up, do your job, and do not ask questions.  I had seen to many bosses who treated employees like this and I figured this was how you treated people when you were the boss.  So, so, so very wrong.

After some life altering ah-ha God moments and experiences as well as finding a job where I saw a different model of leadership, things began to change for me.  I stopped viewing others in the way I previously had and began seeing others as people who were important and valuable.  I began realizing that just because someone did not see things my way did not make them less important.  So maybe they did things differently; that did not mean my ideas were less important-just different.  Huge shifts began to take place in my life and how I began viewing life and my interactions with others changed.  I discovered people to be fascinating and their view on life, although vastly different from mine were just as meaningful and important.

To be gracious implies that you actually care about other people and what they think.  It means that you understand were all-important and we all view life through different lenses.  That is what makes this world great.  I believe God created all of us different for a variety of reasons and it is because of those differences that make life exciting and enjoyable.

As a real authentic man who demonstrates the trait of graciousness in a real way, I believe that you will begin to see and experience people in a new and different light.  People are valuable, they are important and at the heart of it, everyone wants to feel like they are important.  Demonstrating graciousness toward others demonstrates our ability to connect on a human level and enrich our lives

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