Thursday, September 25, 2008

Talents And Gifts

I work for a large company. My co-workers are men and women that are young and old and that represent multiple ethic groups. All in all, it's a reasonably diverse group of people with many different personalities. Some are calm and laid back. Other are frantic and hyper. Some are easier to take than others. A few drive me crazy but then again, I am not every one's cup of tea either. Somehow all of us manage to work together in peace. It takes all types, working together, to create an environment that is productive and accomplished. Within this diverse community are many gifts and talents. All of us have a gift and some type of talent. Many have "hard skills" that help us accomplish the many tasks that we have. Other's have "soft skills" that help smooth the friction that can sometimes occur between people. Everyone brings something to the party. It important to recognize that everyone has a purpose, everyone is needed, and everyone has value. It takes many gifts and talents to keep a community or organization going. If everyone was the same, not much would get done. You can't be a leader if no one will follow. If everyone tries to lead, nothing will get done. In life, everyone needs to find their gift and talent. No gift or talent is better than another. It is when all gifts and talents are used together that we make progress. Look in your mirror. What is your gift and talent? What do you bring to the party? When you discover gifts and talents be grateful and use them for the common good. Remember, however, that others may have different gifts and talents. Differences do not devalue people. If you are a leader, be a good steward of the gifts and talents of those who follow you. If you are a follower, make your gifts and talents known. Do not hide them. Share them and make the world...or your workplace...a better place.

Occasionally someone will ask me to explain what Zen is. The following is my simple understanding of what Zen means to me. There are many books written about this subject so some will likely find my understanding simplistic. The truth is that I am a simple person. I do not like complexity. When I study or encounter something complex, I try to break it down into simpler terms. I feel, however, that my understanding gets to the heart of what Zen is.Zen is a kind of philosophy that is found within Buddhism. In simple terms, Zen is about mindfulness. Mindfulness is being where you are and doing what you are doing. It's about being present to the moment and trying not to let your mind wander and be somewhere different from where your body is. It's being one with the moment. Sometimes when I write about a "perfect moment", I am describing what I consider a Zen moment. It is a moment of total oneness and clarity. It is a moment where life suddenly makes sense if only for a brief time. I remember a winter day where I arrived home to an empty house. It was cold and there were heavy snow flurries in the air. I made a cup of Cafe Vienna coffee. Holding the warm mug in my hand, I sat by a window, in silence, and I simply got lost in the snowfall. It was a moment of complete peace and total oneness with nature. For me, this is Zen. These kinds of moments, at least for me, are also contemplation. Here's a quote that may help understand what I am saying.

Wherever there is a poetic action, a religious aspiration, a heroic thought, a union of nature within man, and the Nature without, there is Zen.
-R. H. Blyth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely post!! Thanks for sharing your opinion about talents and gifts...