State of Grace: Something is missing from today’s political discourse

By WES BROOKS,

I apologize; it’s been a little longer than usual since my last post. That wasn’t by design; life just got in the way. Anyhoo, you’d think with all the money they’re paying me that I’d have something ready to each week. 

(Just kidding, DG.) 

Our artists for this outing require very little introduction unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last 40 years—rock super duo, Hall & Oates. The tune is “Out of Touch” from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom! 

Before we begin, a few things to know about your columnist: I am clinically diagnosed and medicated for ADHD-PI (gosh, that looks awful when it’s typed out). I am a self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive. I have a quick mouth that sometimes gets me into trouble, and I have a RBF that lies on me and frequently gets me into trouble. 

In previous articles for this periodical, I’ve written about my growing disdain for the 24-hour news networks (almost all of them) and the biased coverage of our national leader’s need to win rather than be right. 

Shake it up is all that we know
Using the bodies up as we go
I'm waking up to fantasy
Shades all around aren't the colors we used to see

I’ve tried to assign an adjective to what seems to have gotten lost in modern day discourse. I’ve come up with quite a few, but I’ve yet to come up with one that addresses it all in a single word. 

Does is lack sincerity? Sure, that baby gets tossed out with the bath water sometimes. 

Does it lack honesty? (Don’t laugh too hard at that one.) Of course, that seems to be a trait seems that is increasingly hard to find—painfully hard for some. 

 

Broken ice still melts in the sun
And times that are broken can often be one again
We're soul alone
And soul really matters to me

 

Sympathy? Empathy? Decorum? Dignity? Again, all get forgotten at various times when hot-button issues enter the national dialogue. 

What is missing when you hear a candidate for this nation’s highest office classify any group of Americans as a “basket of deplorables” or another describe in graphic detail their own personal objectification of women?

Is there something missing when a large part of the populous looks at your state flag and takes it to mean “people like you are not welcome here?” 

Of course there is. But there’s only one that I’ve come up with which encapsulates it all. 

What is missing? 

Grace. 

 

Reaching out for something to hold
Looking for a love where the climate is cold
Manic moves and drowsy dreams
Or living in the middle between the two extremes

 

Now, to me, whether or not you apply religious connotation should be inconsequential, so let’s just go with how Miriam-Webster’s defines it. As a noun, “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. As a verb, “the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.”

Let me pause and state that if there’s anyone who could stand to be more gracious, it’s me. Luckily, I work beside 80 children and a couple dozen professionals who give me lessons every day, and I go home to a wife and son who shower me in it.

If you’re lucky, you have family members who elevate you. They are the kind of people who change the mood of an entire group of people.

I have that, and it is awesome to watch this particular part of my family change the mood of a room in real time. 

If you live in Hattiesburg, MS, chances are you know them. If you live here and have a child with ADHD, then it’s almost impossible that you haven’t met my uncle. 

To you, they are Dr. and Mrs. Ronald S. Kent. To me, they are my Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Anne. And it didn’t end with them, they have three children who are equally as gracious. 

And what did they happen to name their youngest? Yep…Grace. 

And she is, but all three of them are. 

I’ll be darned if they didn’t all find equally gracious soulmates who, at last count, now have 10 children. 

Folks, they are genuinely the happiest, grinnin’est, most gracious bunch you have ever met, and five minutes after they enter a room they’ll have everyone else grinnin’ just like them too.

They aren’t that way for the sake of appearances. Them not punting me into the pond behind their house when I was a teenager proves it. 

This week, the passing of President George H.W. Bush has forced us to pause and remember that he was a special kind of leader who respected by all.

Even media outlets who would normally disparage conservative politicians have spoken of him endearingly.

Why?

My answer is because he was gracious, and in my opinion, gracious people are always held in the highest regard for one reason—because nothing these people ever do is about them. 

 

Smoking guns hot to the touch
Would cool down if we didn't use them so much
We're soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Too much 

 

My hope is that, if it hasn’t already, a little grace finds its way to you this holiday season. Be safe, be well, and always be rockin’.   

 

When he’s not rocking his socks off, Wes Brooks spends his days as the Development Coordinator at the DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi. Reach him via email at: 6550music@gmail.com