Whose Talent Is It Anyway?
The email was simple: "Thank you for sharing your talent." If I could have had an out-of-body experience watching my reaction, I would likely have seen me cock my head with a quizzical "huh?" like dogs do when their owners ask a question.
I was proud of what I had done that prompted the email, so it wasn't that she thought there was some talent involved that confounded me. What threw me was the notion of thanking me for sharing. And then I realized that part of the puzzlement for me is my belief that one's talents are not really theirs anyway. They are gifts and we are called to share. We must. Her thank you challenged me to explore new and more ways to share what I do well, and kept alive my ever-frequent introspection-am I doing enough?
We must share our talents, whether it is photography or cooking, dancing or listening, managing or consoling, woodworking or manual labor ; everyone has talents and they are best shared. Part of the magic, I believe, is also how we choose to share in ways that have the ultimate benefit for the beneficiaries.
I think of Wade and Shannon amidst this contemplation. He is a photographer and she is his wife, assistant and muse. She models for many photographers and is certainly muse, too. They both share their abilities and talents. It gives them joy, and it is a joy to benefit from their abilities, too. They grow together, and they grow separately as they share talents with others of talent. Something about their creative churn and what I have gotten from it helps me understand the email that I received.
Sharing talent in generous ways is important. But I don't believe we have a choice. The abilities and traits we have were given to us and it is our duty to share. Joy comes from giving. I think of the people who have shared their ideas, presence, spirits and energy to help me create photography, stories and poetry; I can never repay those generosities. I owe it to create well with what is shared with me, and in return, those creations become signs of thanks to them. The ebb and flow and forces created by sharing become alive, dynamic and powerful.
It is important to share our talents as gifts; and one's giving is enhanced when those who appreciate the gift of shared talent say thank you. Thank you one and all for your shared gifts that inspire me.
Listen to Life is a free newsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com). Copyright 2010 Dion McInnis. All rights reserved.