The apparel market, particularly for mothers-to-be and for children, have designed clothes that will expand as the wearer grows. Waistbands and lines of fashion have forgiving material allowing for breathing room, for grace. Pants that transform into shorts and skirts that can be adjusted into a billowing-style pants are available for purchase, an added grace that allows transition as the need arises. The apparel market has capitalized on the need for room to grow, room to transition. Due dates for rents and other obligations often provide a grace period, allowing a little extra time beyond the deadline for payments to be made without penalty. Even the financial market has a grace period, to some extent.
The human market struggles with this concept–the need for room to grow, room to transition. We pack our schedules to the extent of overbooking. Adults and children alike have meltdowns, hardly having time to sit through a solid meal or to take a much needed rest after one adrenalin-driven event before jumping into the next. Adults– older, younger and almost there–bounce through revolving relationships, hardly having time to say goodbye before saying hello to the next. There is no closure to the former nor is there a period of adjusting to lessons learned before starting something new. Children, not yet mature enough to remember their multiplication tables or to remember to apply and re-apply sunscreen, are posturing with adult attire and make-up and engaging in sexual acts. There is a cliff-hanging jump from child to adult without a time for the emotional and mental strength to catch up with the physical development.
The media is quick to point out inconsistencies in a person. In the amount of time it takes to write a sentence or to film another segment, one who was just minutes ago considered a star or a hero is summarily degraded to a has-been before the evidence is examined for reliability or truth. We remain without comment when something is good or appropriate according to our standards but when a mistake or a step in the wrong direction is made, we cannot hold back our thoughts and our words. It happens in the news, in movies, in books, in blogs as well as in our face-to-face lives. There is no leeway to allow for alternate viewpoints or possibilities of repentance. The room to grow, to transition, is rationed within the parameters of pride.
Grace, the elastic of our lives, has been stretched to the limit in some areas and replaced altogether in others. When a hangman’s noose embraces where once there was grace, death is sure to follow.