Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

on bringing back social grace

I share office space with a lot of IT professionals, which means I’m around a lot of anxious types who spend most of their lives looking at glowing screens. For, I think, the third time today, a high-pitched, bubbly voice has come floating through the room, singing “awkward” in lilting tones. When that happens, it makes me want to shift in my chair. Parts of my scalp, arm, etc that weren’t itchy before suddenly are.

Declaring that something is “awkward” is not fun or cute. It’s an example of the modern dysfunctionality of my generation to socially cope with situations that might not be one hundred percent straightforward.

The current paradoxically appropriate practice of singing the word “awkward” into a social situation sets a bad tone. It implies distrust. It implies nervousness. It implies a lack of basic trust and a lack of the assumption of good intentions. It expresses an overall unhealthy view of the world.

How much better would it be if our generation could take little moments of misunderstanding or vulnerability and, instead of writing them off as “awkward,” handle them with a little bit of grace that demonstrated a basic love of humanity? How much better would it be if we could just assume people are good and forgiving instead of playing games with each other’s feelings all the time? Much better!

Social grace is a dying art, but we should bring it back. Let’s start by eliminating the practice of declaring things “awkward.”

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Filed under: lacy's life, thoughts and philosophies

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