I can’t remember when I didn’t know I could teach. In school, I reached out to the so-called dumb kids and did what I could to help them improve their grades. While still in high school, I became an excellent bowler and taught others how to play the game well.
Fifteen years ago, I was teaching a group of twenty people about talents—how to recognize and use them. One of the things I suggested was to ask our friends what they see as our special abilities. “All of us have talents of some kind. Sometimes we don’t recognize those talents,” I said. “Others may see them, but we remain unaware.”
“I’m a teacher,” I said. “That’s my primary gift.”
“I disagree,” one woman said. “You’re an encourager. You do that better than anything else.”
Her words stunned me, and my impulse was to shake off her comment.
“She’s right,” someone else said.
Within minutes, most of the people confirmed that statement. And I was in total shock. I had never seen myself in that light.
That day, I accepted the truth about myself.
Since then, I’ve self-observed the way I interact with people. It’s a natural reaction—okay, it’s a talent. I wouldn’t know how to teach someone to imitate me, because I see that as a divinely given gift.
I’m writing about this because many of us feel worthless. But I still remember a saying that was bandied about years ago when I went to graduate school in a predominately black university. It went like this (even though grammatically incorrect), “God don’t make no junk.”
As useless as you may feel, you are gifted in some way. You may not be able to see it yourself, so ask your friends.