The Challenges of Sharing Your “Gifts”

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Regrettably, I didn’t save the blog entry that triggered musings leading to this post about sharing our gifts. (If I find it again, I’ll rectify the sin of omission.)

The entry posited that each person should share his particular talents or gifts, as our individual strengths would then complement each other and improve the world.

I agree.


How do you define your gifts?

After all, everyone struggles to see himself clearly. Personally, I feel a little egotistical calling something that I can do a “gift.” I may have worked pretty hard at it—which makes it a skill, not a talent. Or perhaps I believe I perform a certain activity with proficiency, but not extraordinarily well enough to feel I have something important to share.

And maybe no one else would consider what I consider a gift my particular strong point. Maybe I don’t even particularly excel at something—and yet I completely miss that fact.

Or perhaps I kick tail at a particular activity—something others would value highly—but it bores me?

A bookkeeper once told me that she didn’t want to volunteer doing what she labored at all day in the office. Instead, she wanted to build houses or feed the hungry. Yet I knew from personal experience with the nonprofit in question that having help with bookkeeping and clerical tasks would have helped its operations immensely. And she didn’t know a thing about carpentry.

Wouldn’t this person better serve the nonprofit by using her actual gifts—even if doing so feels like more of the same?

Further, we all have many gifts. Perhaps I don’t particularly value one of my talents—if I could define any of them in the first place—yet someone else considers it highly useful. If someone else values a particular skill of mine highly, does her estimation weigh more than my own?

How do you define and share your gifts?

P.S.—As with a previous post, I wrote this topic in tandem with Will Pora, who planned to post on the same topic one day later. Check out his blog, why don’cha.