During a beach vacation in Summer 2019, just before I started a new position, I was reading an article in O, The Oprah Magazine where Melinda Gates was interviewed. She said something about grace that struck me. She was talking about the work the Gates Foundation was doing and mentioned the grace we have to extend to others when we’re telling their stories. I remember how profound that seemed. And there was something about that word — grace. It lingered in my mind, but eventually vacation ended and I went back to work and my day-to-day life.
The new year was fast approaching and while many people create resolutions, I had spent the last few years selecting a word that would guide me throughout the months ahead. In past years, I had chosen words like elevate, unapologetic and authentic. I wasn’t yet sure what my word would be for 2020, but the word and idea of grace began to appear — in things I was reading and hearing and even in conversations I was having. And though the word grace itself didn’t give me the warm and fuzzy feeling that my words had in the past, it stuck with me and I decided to go with it.
As the year began, I was devastated by the loss of my beloved Grandmother. And unfortunately, as 2020 went on, COVID-19 devastated the entire world and so many of us were hit with heartbreaking losses. And then, with the tragic death of George Floyd, a momentous racial uprising followed, one that rippled throughout the United States and across the globe.
That’s when I realized there was no other possible word that could fit a year full of unimaginable realities that have hit us all.
It was then that I understood why this word had been following me around all that time.
Grace was the perfect word for 2020.
Grace is what we all need to make it through each moment of the days we’re living in.
So as you navigate the new realities of the world, bring some of that grace home for yourself.
And extend some grace to everyone else.
Grace always comes full circle.
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