Gracious Speech

It’s so much easier to throw rocks than it is to govern. Congresswoman Karen Bass, current chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Colossians 4

Pray: Gracious God, teach me how to be a transforming presence whenever I express myself. Amen

I’m struck with the graciousness of the women who were, over the past few months, vetted for the opportunity to run for the office of vice president of the United States.

The story of Biden’s selection first broke with the news that Congresswoman Karen Bass had been notified that she was not chosen. Then the news came of others who had received a courtesy call informing them that they were not the pick. Shortly thereafter the big news came: Senator Kamala Harris of California was now the first woman of color chosen to appear on a major party presidential ticket.

It has been fun to get to know the ten or so women who were considered over a period of months. Being a bit of a news junkie and podcast enthusiast, I took in a lot of stories about the group: Tammy Duckworth, Susan Rice, Elizabeth Warren, Val Demings, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Gretchen Whitmer and Michelle Lujan Grisham. I’m amazed by the grace and strength of these leaders.

I feel like I know these women; and I wish it were true. What is true is that I’m more hopeful about the future of public service knowing that collaborative, emotionally healthy women are rising into leadership positions in our day.

Spiritual Practice

One of the biggest challenges we face in the arena of public discourse is staying true to our values while discussing social issues and religious beliefs. Social media has become so toxic and filled with false information—intended to harm and mislead. The problem is so bad that regulations and warning labels are emerging to protect vulnerable people from manipulative messaging. Many of us also dread the toxic arguing that happens with relatives and colleagues.

Dr. Brené Brown created the Engaged Feedback Checklist as a tool to determine if you are in the right headspace to engage in political conversations. 

In honor of the women who were willing to serve, and have modeled gracious speech under fire, I recommend Brown’s checklist as a spiritual practice for us all.

Have a wonderful weekend,