Give your gift

May 7, 2020 | 5 comments

I think everyone knows having a “knack” for something means that you’re a lot better at doing that thing than the average person. If you have a “knack,” it’s likely that others have noticed your enhanced abilities in what ever your area or areas of expertise happen to be. And, they have noticed whether or not you share your “knack” with them. For example, if you’re comedic, then you probably enjoy telling jokes to your friends…you’re sharing your “knack.” But, what if you also showed them, the ones that were interested, how to tell a good joke?  Maybe you think that part’s your knowledge and not for revealing to others. Maybe you think those are your secrets and it wouldn’t be wise to share them.

I believe my “knacks” are gifts of a different sort and that they don’t solely originate within myself, independently, and only by my efforts or thoughts. I have found it to be best to share all “gifts” you have with all persons that have an interest in them. This is a way of being able to give to others what you have been given, a way to pass your baton along to people you meet along life’s trails. This is inherent goodness in its simplest form. Plus, if you “pass it on,” “pay it forward,” or; call it whatever you want…your knowledge will live on long after you’re gone and may inspire others far into the future. You will have “left a piece of yourself,” “made your mark” or maybe you’ll be a “legend in your own time” as you are remembered by the people of this world.

If you give of yourself, it’s easier to be a recipient of the goodness others want to pass along to you. I like to give my gifts to others, it’s great fun to watch them take receipt of them and then, begin to make use of their newfound knowledge in a given area. Some of my gifts are photography, hiking, biking, writing, cooking and storytelling. These are things I’ve done over time and that I reap extra enjoyment from. People have asked me to give them pointers in all these areas. As a part of my exhibition “Momento Decisivo”, a collection of nine photographs exhibited in large format at the cities downtown museum, I also mentored to 10 of Cuenca’s most talented photographers at the city’s request. We all had a fantastic time both in the classroom and the field for six weeks. Solid friendships were forged in the exciting fires of passionate knowledge exchange.

Let me tell you about some of that type exchange that I was recently the beneficiary of. Here’s what happened. A fellow was starting a storytelling event here in Cuenca. He elected to name his event “Canelazo Stories.” He had held it once with himself and 4 or 5 other storytellers. It was private in the sense you had to buy a ticket to see the event and it was held in a smaller venue, a restaurant, here in Cuenca. Well, you already know I am a storyteller and that I consider it a gift I have. But the guy putting the event together, Jeff Salz, appeared to have the moniker of “Master Storyteller.” That was more than enough to pique my interest. I’d say, “long story short” but it happens that Jeff’s and my story is continuing to unfold. That story might be leveraged for a longer, more robust tale. We’ll see what happens as the yarn unwinds.

I called Jeff up and introduced myself; we arranged to meet. I went over to his place. He was drinking some green stuff while I had coffee. Turns out, he was doing a health fast and there was all kind of veggie things mixed up in that glass of his. I appreciate originality; he had it. He likes adventure, so do I. He’s been all over the world and performed many notable feats of mountaineering and storytelling; many more than me. He has his Doctorate in anthropology. I’m an avocational archaeologist.

I already had the story that I wanted to share with Jeff refined for presentation when I met him. I told Jeff that I was impressed by his climbing and storytelling accomplishments. I told him I was there to see if he would mind giving me some pointers, some coaching, on my own storytelling. Man, he was my kind of guy, so glad to give his special gifts! I ended up telling my story at his event and it was a lot of fun. And, we now use the term “friend” during our communiqués … a term we both feel implies responsibilities on the part of those sharing a friendship.

So now you see how simply this works. You give some gifts, you’re the recipient of the gifts of others, people make new friends … a total win/win for all! Please don’t find yourself playing the game of second guess with yourself. Remember this, we all have “gifts” or “knacks”. Inventory yours and see what you’ve got to share. Others are waiting to find out more about your skillsets. You wouldn’t put a bright lamp under the table where no one could make use of its shining light would you? I thought not. Thanks for sharing your gifts and by doing so, enabling others. Your powerful actions are making new bright spots in  their lives.

Brian Buckner

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