By Alanoud AlMadhi (@ALANOUD_auh)
It is sensational what a gift can do to a person. The confidence it boosts, the zest it builds in them, and the effect it allows them to spread in the universe.
God gives us, the world expects from us, and we influence. This is the story of talent.
We first discover the gift God has bestowed on us. We explore its viability through other people’s expectations. Then, by our desire to influence, we develop it, introduce it, and contribute to the society through it.
Referring to talent, skill, and knowledge, I heard my father once say: “It is not enough to know it, you have got to show it!”
Everyone has been signed up for the great mission to know their God-given talents and more importantly, pluck up the courage to show them to the world.
We need to search for our talents (which is not easy) and show it off as well (which certainly is not as effortless as it sounds). It is a challenge to realize your uniqueness and it is a fight to make that influential.
The prominent talented innovators, leaders, authors, and musicians of our time who are now greatly missed or whose talents we still enjoy have not only cultivated their flairs to work at the highest tempo, but they have also insisted on letting us witness their power and be affected by it.
It was not enough for Steve Jobs to know he could foresee what people craved for nor was it sufficient for Michael Jackson to realize he is got the voice and moves to entertain. They both believed that hiding their light under a bushel is not going to make the difference and is not going to create a lasting effect.
Taking the journey to the path of discovery and the struggle to parade is inevitable.
Mine started when I was a child in second grade. It was then that I first got acquainted with my talent.
I was one mousy little girl; mute, shy, and afraid. I was always sitting in the corner of a room, hiding backstage, and standing at the rear of a crowd. I vividly remember second grade. My favorite class was reading. I can still recall being ever so immersed and enchanted with Ms. Rachel’s vocal efforts in the articulation of words, the enunciation of letters, and the beautiful wavering melody of speech.
I wanted to read aloud like my teacher. So I practiced, and I was good.
I spotted my surprising talent of public speaking and kept it to myself for a while, until I felt sure the people around me were ready for the magical ability I believed I had. When I finally came out of my once-eternal murmuring mode and started to confidently demonstrate my knack for public speaking, I was interrupted with mockery and disregard, my siblings thought it was annoying, my friends said it was not “cool”, and my teacher believed it was inconsistent with my colleagues’ level and is thus “unnecessary”.
Being so little and thinking they knew better, I believed them. So I humbly went back to my undertone.
It was not until I reached high school that I came to realize my talent is something to fight for. Our great father and leader, Sheikh Zayed, had passed away –may God rest his soul in peace-. Like everyone around me, I was in shock. As I always do when I am sad, angry, or scared, I isolated myself in my room and wrote.
By the end of the night, I had a poem in my hands; one that I deeply felt can influence a few and tug at the heartstrings of many.
My school was planning to organize a students’ broadcast on the first day after mourning; a live program in the middle of the school’s yard.
Wishing to participate by reciting my poem, I asked my teacher, head of broadcast and the head of students and social affairs, for a part in the activity. The reply on my request had always started with a “You?!” and ended with a resounding “No!”. They could not believe an introvert like me could speak publicly before the 300+ people in the school.
I asked them again and again, but the answer had always been the same. Being so stubborn, persistent, and realizing the importance my poem had, I kept pushing the head of broadcast to let me in. When the awaited day came, they just had to allow me to take part only because another student turned out absent; and mainly, because I would not give up.
I stood behind that lectern and stared at the crowd like a sovereign about to hold forth.
I spoke the weep, the heartbreak, and the gratitude.
Within every verbalized word, I felt a strange sense of nourishment and strength swirling in my body, gnawing at the most minuscule thoughts of fear and numbing any sense of timidity; making me float on the rhymes of my poetry.
As I finished my recital, I saw the glittering teary eyes gazing at me proudly with admiration. An immediate storm of applause hit me and as I stepped back from the lectern, I felt an apologetic pat on the back from those who had once looked at me with disbelief.
I finally found my voice, my passion, and I showed it.
The God-given talent always starts with self-expression but then soon must grow into something greater than one’s self. A talent enlightens more if shared more.
This great miracle is not something we have created ourselves. We do not own our talents; it is our responsibility to develop them and shout them out to the world.
We need not stop even if others tried to make us do so. They are not to be blamed if they disbelieved in us; they would not know we are great unless we showed them.
Sail eMagazine’s 20th Issue – November 2011
Here we start – Art of Living 101 – Beyond Inspiration
Blunders of a Wannabe Entrepreneur – Just Another Undergrad – Society of Tomorrow
Too Blunt for Words – To The Point – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
Founder of @BetweenTheSips -a social media initiative that moderates social conversations. Alanoud’s passion is public speaking and designing infographics, reading and researching.
Through “Beyond Inspiration”, Alanoud aims to share personal experiences, struggles, and aha moments that can spark a flame within the reader to reach their full potential.