Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gifted for Something?

I heard of a woman who operated a daycare for children from her home. As she transported children in her car one day, a fire truck zoomed by. The kids were thrilled to see a Dalmatian on the front seat, just like in the old-time stories.

They began a conversation about the duties of a "fire dog." One child suggested that they use the dog to keep the crowds back. Another said the Dalmatian is just for good luck. But young Jamie brought the argument to an end when he said, "They use the dog to find the hydrant!"

He reminds us that we all have useful abilities, if sniffing out fire hydrants is a useful ability. Some of our skills are apparent. Some are hidden. Some probably haven't even been discovered. Some can be improved with work -- lots of mine fall into this category.

Madame Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize (she won two), said this about giftedness: "Life is not easy for any of us, but what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."

I like that. "We must believe that we are gifted for something." Do you believe you are gifted for something? Do you know what that "something" is?

American football's William Floyd probably thought his athletic ability was his greatest gift. But then he injured his knee halfway through his 1995 season with the San Francisco Forty-Niners. The talented athlete was out for the rest of the season. It was then that he found a gift he may not have known he possessed.

William Floyd still wanted to contribute and he did NOT want his self pity to spill over to the rest of the team. So he stood on the sidelines at every workout and in every game and encouraged his teammates on. He shouted and cajoled; he motivated and consoled; he became a dominating presence and a source of great inspiration for his team. He had a remarkable ability for bringing out the best in others.

At the end of the year, his teammates voted him the player "who best exemplifies inspirational and courageous play." As much as they needed him on the field, they discovered how much they needed him on the sidelines, urging them to do and to be their best. I wonder if his newly-found life skill, his gift of positive motivation, could prove more useful than even his athletic ability?

What if we believed we were "gifted for something"? What difference would that make?

And what if we believed we should do something about it? What difference would that make? What difference COULD that make?

I think a lot of life is about finding that out.

-- Steve Goodier

1 comment:

Loren Gelberg-Goff said...

Steve, once again your writing touches so much of what we as individuals need to become aware of, and I thank you. Finding our gifts, our passions and then living them is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, and the world. Too many people have forgotten how to dream, and then believe that they could make their dream(s) happen. I work everyday to help people find their inner gifts and bring them out into the world.
Look at what happens when we share our gifts, and our dreams. We are all witnessing a reshaping of America because one man had the courage to follow his dream in spite of all the odds, and now he will have an opportunity to share his dream with all of us. I am inspired by Barack Obama's spirit, tenacity, and belief in himself and our nation and I can only hope that his energy and his message that we can all make good things happen if we're willing to look at the gifts each of us bring to the collective whole of our nation and the world.
I feel a great sense of optimism from what you wrote, and I feel it especially important as we all come out of the fog of the past 8 years and into a brighter and more hopeful future. Thank yo for all you do to inspire, motivate and foster optimism as well. Loren