What is graciousness? It is a personality? NO, you either have it or don't. Many people do not know what is graciousness and how to be gracious. So what does this word covers?
To me, this word means kindness, compassion, graceful, pleasing and courteous. It also mean good taste, tactful and acceptable.
For example someone said "Lian, you are looking good"....for a gracious person, she will reply "Oh, thank you for your kind words"; and there are pretentious people who will say "No lah, you must have seen wrongly." For whatever the reason, why one cannot graciously accept the compliment?
Graciousness have kindness, compassion and empathy in it. Because in Singapore, life is on a platter for most "middle and upper class people". These people lived in good resident, elite environment, have fleets of cars, good jobs but many are lacking graciousness.
Recently there was a case that a maid was abused by her employer for not listening to her but went to attend to the employer's child who was crying. I cannot see anything wrong with the maid but she was kicked, pinched, pour hot water, slapped etc. What justified such attacked when the employer is educated and hold a top position? Local Chinese has a saying "Educated but filled with shit in the brain".
There was one maid who was tasked to take care of the employer child and this child throw tantrum. The maid is trying to pacify the kid but the continuous crying of the child got the employer so worked up that she pulled the maid ears, slapped her, kicked her, burn her with an iron, tore her hair. I was wondering, it is the employer duty to bring up her own kid but here because she got a maid she felt that it is the duty of the maid. So much for an affluent society who breeds "educated rubbish human" who knows no kindness and empathy. They do not deserved a maid.
It is sad to see these maids coming from poorer countries who are here to make a living. They do not want to be a maid if possible but life is such that they have no choice. These maids are here to tender to your home, your kids and all the household chores that you hate to do and she deserves better than to be ill-treated. Talking about human rights!
The next group of people are foreign labours, people coming here to take all the dirty jobs that Singaporean are too high class and too educated to do. They are also being abused. Fortunately Singapore government took care of their board and at least they don't sleep on roadsides, slumps, back lanes or a cramped up small little room that are occupied by 10 of them. They have no proper place to wash up, cook and rest.
It pains my heart to see other human being treated worst than a dog. No wonder they said "Leading a Dog life". Do not underestimate dogs, they live better than me too.
Therefore if one is not gracious and have empathy, sooner or later all the dirty actions will be brought to light and exposed to public. It goes to show how bad a person can be. If one has no graciousness towards stranger, than do not take them into the family. If one brings in the maid, one brings in another family member. Feelings are reciprocal, if you are nice and train the maid, she will do what you want the way you want it.
I have a friend who have 3 maids in the house. They eat what the employer eat. She bought clothes for them, buy them gifts and gifts for their family and she gives them extra pocket monies during festivals. Her maids are well-behaved. They cook and wash for the family. They also help to look after the old folks at home and of course her pet dogs too.
Therefore graciousness is cultivated.
When you have brains and look do not mean you are graceful and gracious. When you have monies do not mean that you are gracious as well. The I and MINE ego is larger than life. You can see loads of such people when you drive on the road, when you are at supermarket, when you are waiting for buses, when talking, when you travel overseas. There are such people all over the World but I am seeing the ''micro'' which is Singapore.
I for one got lots to learn from these. Just hope that I will grow old gracefully.