We’re eager to share why we continue to do what we do and how we continue onward in the midst of the storms of this world. Words to encourage, uplift, and even challenge–this little magazine is brimming with the heart of The St. James Tearoom! Written by our owner and founder, Mary Alice Higbie, each article centers around one of our five Aspirations, bringing in examples from history, thoughtful concepts, and practical application for today’s world.This is an excerpt from our new Aspirations Quarterly publication now available in The St. James Market. We hope these encourage you. Here are the five Aspirations we apply to the work we do:
Grace is a person’s good pleasure, which must bestow benefits on others. It is generosity lived out in the nitty-gritty of daily life, and it always springs out of Abundance. The impoverished heart grasps; it does not give. Grace has an abundance to give freely, both to those who deserve and those who do not, and it is inclined to do so. Justice gives what is deserved. Mercy does not give what is deserved. But Grace, is extravagant generosity, gives what is not deserved.
The word “civility” comes from the Latin word “civitas,” which means “city”–individuals living, working, and moving in proximity. It is all about Community. Civility knows it is not the only one, that others are also important. It takes them into account and gives them value. It is not self-seeking and exclusive, but has a humble understanding that individuals need each other and must work together. Civility is inclusive and neighborly; in fact, Neighborliness can be a synonym for Civility.
We are bombarded with the brash, the mediocre, the cheap, the shoddy, and the trifling. Often we wade in the unlovely, unsightly, and loud. True Beauty fills a deep longing that is integral to the human heart and is necessary to its flourishing. True Beauty is not a thing to be possessed so much as a gift to bestow, a means of honoring others and enriching their lives. In a world often filled with chaos and suffering, Beauty can lift our eyes to things above, beyond. Beauty may become a means of shaping a more winsome world.
In a world apt to honor Push and praise Shove, gentleness is a rare virtue indeed. Often ignored or diminished in our day of high pressure, force, and coercion, Gentility is yet as powerful as a small stream of water, which can undermine a strong wall or cut a pathway through a mountain of granite. It is not loud, rough, or belligerent, but quietly and courteously can stand its ground with strength and assurance, without bluster and noise.
Excellence is a pursuit, an ongoing exertion toward the highest, the best, the unsurpassed. It is a resounding shout to move ever Onward and Upward! Excellence shudders at the epithet Mediocre, striving instead toward the unsurpassed, highest, and best. In relentless exertion, Excellence has an eye that sees the whole, and sees every detail, too. It cares and cares zealously, not for applause, but for service. The highest form of Excellence is motivated by a desire to give its very best!
Our purpose is to act as a catalyst for change in our society toward a return to
Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence.
The above is an excerpt from Aspirations Quarterly, to pick up the new publication please visit The St. James Market, click on the image for more info!