The dictionary defines Grace as politeness, generosity of spirit, polish, dignity, and a pleasing quality. All of these attributes are characteristics that we would like to see in our leaders. So, too, would we like to hold the people who lead us in the highest esteem, whether in our churches and civic organizations, our schools and universities or those who hold public office. We expect that those individuals who are in leadership should be examples of integrity and high moral character as representatives and ambassadors for the people they serve. To take personal responsibility and aspire to be the best person one can be while inspiring others to emulate that same standard should be part of any instruction manual for leadership. Alas, as we look towards the highest office in the land, the attributes of leadership as described above have fallen woefully short. No matter what your political leaning may be, or what religious or spiritual beliefs you hold, the definition of “Grace” remains the same. In whatever ways our leaders may fail or disappoint us by not fulfilling the promises made or expectations we have for them, the least they can do is to have a modicum of grace as they attempt to lead. Unfortunately, we are currently witnessing an increasingly unprecedented exhibition of behaviors from the nation’s highest office that are outright embarrassing, boorish and ill-mannered.
The lack of grace, humility or acknowledgement that elected officials are supposed to be servant-leaders, not monarchs has been increasingly on display over the past few months. The “unprecedented” behavior coming out of formerly revered institutions and offices of leadership have been entirely outside the boundaries of common decency and decorum. The conduct we have witnessed lately has not only been disappointing, it has become frighteningly alarming.
Elected officials in the United States of America are not CEOs of corporations or dictators. They are not authoritarian rulers of a subjugated and dependent nation. No. They are the leaders of a free democracy and by virtue of the leadership role they hold, they are intended to be subject to the People and to the Constitution of the United States of America as its protector and defender. Above all else, it is the Constitution that was designed and written to protect the People against tyranny and despotic leadership.
Grace is a powerful word. At times, we have had leaders in this nation who are the epitome of the word grace in their actions and in the way they lead their public life. These people are the complete embodiment of grace in the type of leadership they exhibit. The power of grace enables those who possess it to lead with a servant heart and with humility of spirit that befits the office they hold. Such leaders recognize they are servants to the people who elected them. They circumspectly, with all seriousness and dignity carry forth their duties in leadership. We are now living in a completely different time. As each day, week and month progresses, our expectations are continually lowered and we can no longer look up to the leadership we are witnessing. This may be due to a myriad of situations and conditions known and still some are under investigation. It is, however, the lack of grace within the administration of the Office of the Presidency that has caused the most Shock and Awe.
The power of the office has been weakened, if not permanently at least for a season due in part, to an inability to embrace the power of GRACE. It is my hope that one day we can recover the dignity that has always been associated with the office and the person(s) who hold it. We cannot allow it to be diminished forever.