When I was in elementary and high school, I was a relatively well-rounded but mediocre student in many areas. I got good marks in math, but fairly middle-of-the-road results in English and social studies. Chemistry I enjoyed because of my zany teacher, who had everyone convinced he was always just one test tube away from blowing up the classroom, or setting fire to the students sitting in the front row. Physics I enjoyed because of the “hands on” aspects. Home economics, French, typing, nutrition and religious studies (unfortunately) were really just good excuses to catch up on what was going on in the lives of my girl friends.
What I really excelled in, though, was P.E. class. It was the area in which I really shined for at least one hour out of every day. The feeling of making an accurate ball hockey pass, or a well-executed basketball move were the things that really built up my self-esteem, and which enabled me to do as well as I did in my other classes. If it hadn’t been for the confidence I got from using my special gifts, I think I would have had a whole different approach to and experience with the educational system. Because I had this area of self-esteem, I was able to feel confident about a great many other things in my life, including my business career and my mid-life return to university education.
Every year, I would encounter other students in my classes who I considered to be remarkably talented in one way or another. There was the girl in grade seven who created the most beautiful sculptures and pen-and-ink drawings in art class. There was the boy in grade ten who could build beautifully finished bookcases and shelving units worthy of an old world craftsman.
In fact, everybody I have ever met has had some special gift or talent, some area of ability in which they are able to perform with the graceful ease of a dolphin moving through the ocean. Whether it is playing the tuba, trouble-shooting computer problems, or telling stories, each of us have some innate talent bestowed on us by the Creatrix, in whatever form we choose to envision her.
The lucky among us discover what they are good at from a very early age. The luckiest of all are those who are able to make their living from doing what they are good at and what they love (is there really ever a difference between those two?). Whether or not we are able to engage in our truest areas of endeavour and be paid for it, however, we do need to be true to what we are born to do. We need to honour it, respect it, and feed it. It is, after all, one of the most important sources of personal inspiration that is available to us.