A Teachable Moment in Grace

AUTHOR: | POSTED: November 7, 2012 | COMMENTS: 12 Comments

Carolyn Savage

I hate losing.  Whether it be a game of Gin Rummy or a race up the New York Times best seller list, I don’t like it when an outcome doesn’t match my desires.  Hell, during my childhood years I could flip a checker board with the best of them.  Of course, my childhood tempter tantrum was always followed by a talking-to… 

Carolyn.  You better learn to swallow defeat with grace.  Nobody likes a poor sport.”

 Of course, all of this is caused by my love for winning.  Whether it be a lasagna cooking contest or a hotly contested basketball game, I can dance in the end zone with the passion of any professional.  Fortunately, for me, my moments of childhood gloating also came with a talking to…

Carolyn.  You better to learn how to win with grace.  Nobody likes a poor sport.”

As a child, it seemed that grace was a difficult thing to attain.

Apparently, as an adult, it still is.

This morning all of us we were presented with a teachable moment for our children.  Here in the battle ground state of Ohio, our families have been barraged with ads that predicted no less than the end of the world if “the other guy” won.  Funny thing was, it didn’t matter who “the other guy” was.  Armageddon seemed inevitable.  As adults we can brush those messages off.  Unfortunately, our children aren’t yet equipped with the same ability.  This morning a little less than half our citizens woke up on a losing side.  A few more ended up in the winner’s circle. 

Our children are watching.  Now more than ever. 

It’s time for a lesson in grace.

In our house, this translated to advice for our older boys who were undoubtedly going to  engage in discussions about the election during school.  I reminded them of the wise advice that I received as a child. 

This isn’t time for endzone dances or tantrums.  Nobody needs that today.  Respect others’.  Do not lash out.   We’ve had enough debate for awhile.  Right now people need time to process.  If you find yourself getting upset, swallow deeply.  Rest in your convictions but will yourself to listen.  You will learn something.  Oh…and all of that is easier said than done.  Good luck.”

As I opened my Facebook feed this morning, I realized that it wasn’t just my teenage boys who needed to hear this.  For every celebratory post, there was one filled with exasperation.  Obviously, I relate to one group more than the other, but I took my own advice and refrained. I need to sit with this and I respect my friends too much to question any of their beliefs.   I will not be dancing in an endzone, and there’ll be no public tantrums to behold. 

I’ve learned that lesson. 

Hopefully, my children are learning it, too. 







12 Comments on “ A Teachable Moment in Grace ”

  • Kathy | November 7th, 2012 3:09 pm

    Well said, Carolyn. Though I am happy about the outcome of the election, I have tried to be sensitive and thoughtful with what I have posted on Facebook and Twitter out of respect for all those I am connected with, especially those who may have voted for a different candidate (including my husband). I too try to be a good example for my children when it comes to times like these. I have been disappointed and inspired by some of the rhetoric I have seen on social media in the past 24 hours. I am glad this is all over so hopefully we can move on and work together to make our country a better place. I get that is easier said than done. Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience the morning after.

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  • Carolyn Savage | November 7th, 2012 4:40 pm

    Kath…I haven’t signed onto Twitter for more than a few seconds in a week. I can’t wait until that “sphere” settles down.

    And you’re in a mixed marriage? Kudos to you on successfully navigating that!

    We had a lot of school levies fail here. A lot of passion in addition to the presidential election! Tough stuff.

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  • lynda crossman | November 7th, 2012 3:37 pm


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  • Kelly Masters | November 7th, 2012 4:28 pm

    I am hoping, more than ever, that I will be proven wrong and this country will be able to move forward and prosper.

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  • Lynn McCarron Klover (Facebook Comment) | November 7th, 2012 9:49 pm

    I think you put into words perfectly what a lot of us are feeling today- thank you!

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  • Nikki Zilinsky (Facebook Comment) | November 7th, 2012 9:51 pm

    Very well said, Carolyn. I wish all people, regardless of their beliefs, would heed your advice

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  • Jennifer Bowman Tee (Facebook Comment) | November 7th, 2012 9:52 pm

    Great perspective! Such wise parents 😉

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  • Teri | November 8th, 2012 9:44 am

    Very wise. Love that CSNY song, Teach Your Children Well.

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  • Angela Bonner (Facebook Comment) | November 8th, 2012 7:43 pm

    This had good advice!

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  • Lori Lavender Luz | November 9th, 2012 9:59 pm

    Oh, boy, are we kindred spirits. And I had to go on an Internet blackout the day after because of both the sore winning and the sore losing.

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  • Katie Smigelski Hire (Facebook Comment) | November 10th, 2012 4:40 pm

    Great post.. This was way harder than I thought, I did not post anything but clicked the like on several comments, could not control the thumb…next time I will try harder and hopefully be able to simply move forward, no pun intended

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  • Carol Lavelle (Facebook Comment) | November 10th, 2012 4:40 pm

    Well said

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