I came across this quote from Albert Einstein: ”Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This quote was sent out by my friend Bonnie who has a wonderful website here: http://www.savoringyoursixties.com/
The quote made me think about what it means to judge others. We all have talents; but we also tend to measure our talents by what talents others have. That is wrong! I used to look at others and wish I had their talents. It took me a long time to realize that mine were just as good as theirs, just different.
We generally tend to see others as either ‘like us’ or ‘unlike us’, and those who are unlike are somehow less than we are. I truly believe that everyone has a place in the great scheme of things.
When I was growing up, I was taught that those who had little or no book learning were somehow deficient and to be pitied. My mother often belittled herself because she had to quit school at 14 to take care of her mother who had a heart condition. My dad was an engineer and well-educated; he often made it clear he despised those who were not well-educated. Growing up in this environment, I learned that lots of education was good; lack of it was bad. But my mom had many talents she didn’t recognize as such; she was able to stretch money so we were never hungry; she was an accomplished knitter; she was great at decorating our home on a shoestring.
I think of the Welsh miners who were often unschooled yet had beautiful voices, formed choirs, and gave performances that made people cry to hear them. Their harmonies were so pure, and they put their hearts and souls into singing to give joy to others. There are so many examples like this, it would take way too long to write about them all.
The point is, we all have talents that we may not see as important, but they are. Some people are great at organizing, others have creative talents, like my friend Jenna who is a wonderful artist and has a great eye for color, shape, and form. Others I know have the gift of being a great friend.
It is so easy to look at another person and wish we could do what they do. By doing that, we are ignoring our own talents. We each have things we do well and enjoy. Just imagine what the world would be like if we were all equally talented in the same thing! So much would be lost.
Celebrate your gifts!