Grace Under Pressure

Ernest Hemingway said “Courage is grace under pressure.” He meant stand your ground and be guided by grace. He meant keep your cool when others around you are losing theirs. He meant show courteous good will in troubling times and hardship. He meant show others how to lead with graceful courage.

What has happened to “grace under pressure”? It appears often absent these days. But I think it IS still with us. It doesn’t seek the limelight because that is not its purpose. Its purpose is to be steadfast and surefooted. It stands in sharp contrast to the bullish opinions seizing our media that are rushed out every day without thought or care. “Grace under pressure” requires calm and thought. It requires careful consideration and not quick name calling. It requires self-control and composure.

Many do follow the “grace under pressure” guide. They know it takes practice and lots of it. They are those who retain their composure in the midst of conflict and stress. They are those who know who they are and what they can do under challenging circumstances.

They may be on the public stage or on a private one. They are the athletes who stand up after they fall and keep coming back. They are the statesman who consistently put their citizens needs first and foremost. They are the nurses who calm the frightened. They are the friends who stay through the storms. They are you and me. They are us.

Think of a time when you showed strength that you did not even know you had, and you used that strength to help in a crisis. You were fully present. You rallied the troops, you held the hand, you calmed the scared, you rose to the occasion.You were showing grace under pressure. We all have this amazing ability inside of us. We need to honor it, develop it, and use it.

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