When Sand Becomes Treasure

I was trying to figure out a way to reconcile the usefulness and virtue of the trait for this month, Grit, and the need to protect the dignity of others, as well as the need to change direction when necessary. To relay some of the hard lessons I learned in not being overzealous in the application of something that can injure others or dig oneself into a rut. I think I found it in the pearl.

Most know of a pearls formation: a piece of irritating material- grit- is covered with layers and layers of nacre, that smooth. iridescent, crystalline substance from which the pearl oyster produces the pearl. You might want to know more of the process, and that is fine, so go to the pearl guide for more about the process. In this metaphor, it is the oyster that has grit, as over time it builds the layers over that irritating bit of sand.

In the right place, the enduring strength of conviction and intention is a valuable characteristic. Many adages on success center around powerful determination to continue until the goal is accomplished. But the point of the pearl is that there needs to be a buffer of nurture and care that protects and creates the beauty and value of this trait. Otherwise it is merely obstinacy.

Grit is something you carry around within yourself, not something to foist on others. It is a trait by which we deal with circumstance, not one which we insert into our relationships. Those who have learned to stick to their convictions and their commitments are sometimes curmudgeonly characters, the proverbial old crust, who is “not so bad once you know him”. But that is more the way we perceive this less popular virtue, than the effect it would have on personality. Our cultural parody, not the characteristic’s reality. Grit is ‘Overcoming serious obstacles through determined effort” -Joseph Epstein

Our admiration for someone with grit is why we root for the underdog, hail the champion, and love to hear all those rags to riches stories, and it is something that we can incorporate into our own stories. It will become a treasure.

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