Yesterday I learned something about graciousness from Fr. Peter. A half dozen members of our local Altar Guild, The Pink Flamingo included, worked for several hours putting the church to rights. On Maundy Thursday, after the evening service, it is traditional to “strip” the altar, and basically remove anything in the church that isn’t tied down. It’s an Episcopal thing, and is probably also a Catholic thing.
Then on Saturday, everything is put back, spanking clean, spit polished, and shining new. The Easter lilies are in place (no matter what a pain in the tuckus they are) the candles are new, and everything is ready to go for the twilight service, when Easter officially begins.
As we were finally completing our tasks, Fr. Peter came over to each of us individually, and very quietly, with a very prim and proper Scottish bow, he thanked us for our work. Then, again this morning, after the service and I was leaving the church, he thanked me for my work yesterday.
It is called graciousness: “Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy”
Consequently it is The Pink Flamingo’s turn to be gracious. I’ve seen some of the conservative blogs and the way they are handling the dramatic rescue of Captain Phillips. A few of the more “important” blogs are being less than gracious to Barack Obama.
When Bill Clinton was POTUS, I prided myself on giving him credit when I though he deserved it (not that it was very often). I am going to do the same thing here. We are finally learning that Barack Obama gave the orders for the Navy Seals to rescue the quick thinking Richard Phillips.
What I also like is the fact that Obama continued GWB’s regs allowing the guys in the field on the water to have full autonomy when making a decision (if the Captain’s life was in danger). He issued orders that if they felt Captain Phillips’ life was in “imminent” danger, they (the Seals) could do what they needed to do.
Last night, watching Geraldo, I gather sentiment was akin to mine, just let the Seals go in and take those creeps out. Well, Obama did just that.
I cannot complain. In fact, I find the fact that he gave the “boots on the ground” autonomy during this mission is a bit reassuring. With luck, nothing else will happen before Sarah Palin is elected in 2012 and we won’t need to see if Obama will continue this approach.
Now I don’t like the idea that Obama was going to let the whole negotiation approach continue, but at least he gave the orders that our troops could do what they needed to do, when they felt they needed to do it.
Aside from the fact that this proves a theory I have about him, I am going to also mention something else. We all know Barack Obama has “skin” that is very, very thin. So does his Administration. During the past few days conservatives have been a bit too quick to criticize Obama’s lack of comments, and apparent lack of action in the matter. Instead of “reacting”, when the chips were down and Obama needed to play Commander in Chief for the first time, he did okay. In fact, he did not do bad at all. If GWB were still POTUS, I’d be crowing about his actions.
For the first time – ever – I am “slightly proud” of Barack Obama. (I would prefer to have seen John McCain as Commander in Chief). If he can continue in this vein, militarily, we may be able to muddle through until Sarah Palin is elected in 2012. In a way his actions have “redeemed” the deplorable in actions of Bill Clinton in Somilia. I have no idea what his further actions will be, but for this moment, I think it would be appropriate for us to be gracious and give credit where credit is due.
By giving Obama credit when he deserves it, it makes any criticism of him (and I will be doing that shortly, don’t worry) more valid.
This brings up another question – from my father. Will Obama continue on this path, especially when it comes from “terrorists”, not that these guys weren’t “terrorists”. (They were, I’ve heard, fisherman who wanted to get rich quick).
We shall see.