A Conversation With Grace and Humility

From a Wall Street Journal column by Jason Gay headlined “A Conversation With Grace and Humility”:

HUMILITY: You go first.

GRACE: No, you. I insist.

HUMILITY: You always have to be the gracious one.

GRACE: It’s my name!

HUMILITY: OK fine. I guess I would start by saying it’s been a tough bunch of years.

GRACE: You can say that again.

HUMILITY: It’s been a tough bunch of years.

GRACE: Not a lot of us out there in the world.

HUMILITY: I see pockets of it. There are selfless, decent people out there, still being selfless and decent.

GRACE: Humble and graceful people, too.

HUMILITY: But we’re getting harder to find.

GRACE: We’re on the run!

HUMILITY: We’re in the Human Qualities Relocation Program! They moved us to a new town, got us plastic surgery, gave us disguises.

GRACE: Meanwhile, it’s been a big few years for the competition.

HUMILITY: Ah yes, our nemeses.

GRACE: It’s been quite a time for Cynicism.

HUMILITY: Or Self-Interest.

GRACE: Sanctimoniousness.

HUMILITY: Smugness.

GRACE: Narcissism!

HUMILITY: Oh yeah. Fabulous few years for Narcissism.

GRACE: I saw Narcissism the other day at the supermarket. Couldn’t stop talking about how great it was.


GRACE: Let’s not forget about this one: Zero Self-Awareness. It’s been just an epic period for that human quality.

HUMILITY: You’re not kidding! Zero Self-Awareness is, like, a career move now. Say whatever you want, do whatever you want, no consideration of conflicting things you said before.

GRACE: Hypocrisy is a feature, not a bug.

HUMILITY: Hypocrisy is today’s hot accouterment. What about Spinelessness?

GRACE: Or Cowardice!

HUMILITY: Aren’t Spinelessness and Cowardice the same thing?

GRACE: I think you’re right.

HUMILITY: You’re always so graceful, it makes me nuts.

GRACE: I have my moments. I do get mad.

HUMILITY: You do roll your eyes watching cable news.

GRACE: It’s all the Zero Self-Awareness.

HUMILITY: We should mention some of our other friends who haven’t been around so much.

GRACE: Courtesy, Dignity, Empathy.

HUMILITY: Yep. Haven’t seem them in ages. It’s a shame.

GRACE: Honesty.

HUMILITY: Replaced by its loathsome cousin, Dishonesty.

GRACE: Compassion.

HUMILITY: Compassion left town on the bus, quite a while ago.

GRACE: Do you know what I fear?


GRACE: I worry the world is not set up to reward virtuousness anymore. Being terrible is the big, shiny everything. The terrible learn to lean into their terribleness, because they know it will get attention.

HUMILITY: You underestimate Patience.

GRACE: Perhaps. I’m growing Impatient. I’m tired of it.

HUMILITY: Patience ran off with Reasonableness.

GRACE: That’s another one. I can’t think of the last time I saw Reasonableness.

HUMILITY: Is that all we should say? I worry we sound cynical.

GRACE: It’s OK. It’s important to tell the truth.

HUMILITY: Any last words?

GRACE: I would just say: Stay Humble.

HUMILITY: Absolutely. And have a little Grace.

Jason Gay is The Wall Street Journal’s sports columnist and a humor columnist. The author of the 2015 bestseller “Little Victories,” Jason has written for additional publications including Vogue, GQ, Rolling Stone and Outside. In 2016 he was named Sports Columnist of the Year by Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.

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