Everyone is good at something. The most dramatic proof of this is the child savant who sits down and plays Mozart without a second of training.
Every one of us had a talent, but most of us don't recognize its worth.
What we do with incredible ease we usually do superbly, but we often don't realize that precious few others can do it nearly as well.
Acknowledging the gifts in children is ever more
important in a world where there are so many choices
of what path to choose and too many urgings to go
for things that have little or nothing to do with core values.
Over almost a quarter of a century in this business, I've seen many entrepreneurs convert their hobbies into businesses - but only after friends convinced them to stop giving away their skills and products. What we love to do we want to share. Money is a byproduct of our talent, not its purpose.
The world would be a peaceful, wonderful place if we all could simply do what our hearts lead us to do. A simple acknowledgment of another person's gift might make all the difference to them in whether or not they choose to pursue it.
Acknowledging the gifts in children is ever more important in a world where there are so many choices of what path to choose and too many urgings to go for things that have little or nothing to do with core values. How beautiful we can look and how rich we can get should not be a child's focus.
I was thrilled to see the photographs recently that Nikki Hocutt, who is just 17, took for a promotion we are working on. The composition and clarity of her work was breathtaking. I was able to thank her, not just pay her, and encourage her to pursue photojournalism as a career. As we talked about her work and career goals, we were no longer a high school girl and an older woman; we were two souls sharing the joy of inspired work.
My granddaughter is a wonderful writer and freehand artist. It comes to her so effortlessly that she would seem an heir apparent in our family business. Heather, however, has never veered from wanting to be a vet and begins college this month with that goal. Many girls want to be veterinarians as they grow up, so I thought it might be a passing fancy for Heather. Then, a few years ago, our cat became ill, and I asked her to help me drive him to the vet. Cats do not like riding in cars (picture Garfield clawing the window).
Heather held the cat like a baby, nestling her head against his and speaking to him softly, almost purring, while I drove. She stroked him on the exam table as we awaited Dr. Kent. Then, when we returned home, she gave the cat a bath! (Cats will choose a car trip way over a bath, by the way.) That was the first day I saw Heather as a vet. Our gifts come naturally from way down inside.
I'm not good at so many things that I could list them all day. How about you? If I concentrated on what I do not do well, I'd be depressed. But I choose to be thankful that there are a few things I do well and allow myself the pleasure of doing them. When someone takes the time to acknowledge me, it brings me joy. I want to acknowledge others, also.
Around each one of us are people who make our lives better in very specific ways. The best way to thank them is to acknowledge what makes them tick. When we do that with a child, it is the same as taking the small hand and leading him or her in a certain direction. It's a way of teaching that what really matters has nothing to do with what the world says is rich enough, thin enough, successful enough. It has everything to do with the inner core.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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