Grace versus Panic

DSC_1747Over the past year I spent a lot of time organizing a conference that brought together over 150 people. On the second day, right after lunch, a laptop and projector were missing from the workshop room where they’d been left. My response was panic. I ran around for about 30 minutes, in a red fire engine drill panic mode. Finally, the equipment was located, and I could take a deep breath and relax.

In reflecting about that 30 minutes of stress, in the midst of a lovely two day conference that I worked hard to enjoy and relish in, I wondered if it would be possible for a calamity to occur in my life without me going immediately into panic. I can take some things in stride, like traffic jams and other inconveniences, but when it involves other people’s property, I’m not as serene.

A friend reminded me that I’m human. I may not ever achieve buddhahood in the midst of a disaster. A few hours after my panic time, I had the opportunity to read Queen Latifah’s article “who you callin’ a bitch”. She wrote an award-winning song by that name, and the 3 page article had been assigned to my daughter for her community college reading class. It’s a wonderful article which I highly recommend. I’ve always liked Queen Latifah, and after reading her article, I now more fully understand why. According to her, every woman is a queen: every woman who has high self-esteem, who values herself, who defines herself, and who has “grace in the midst of adversity.” Oh, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Grace in the face of adversity. Grace. I love that word. To me it implies ease, serenity, peace, smooth flowing along.

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