Off The Cuff Thursday:Just Like Everyone Else

This is what was on my mind today:

Ability is in the Eye of the Beholder.  This morning I was listening to a radio interview featuring a one-armed pianist. He was born without one of his hands and decided to take up playing the piano while in his teens. After being rejected several times because of his supposed disability, he was accepted into a prestigious music and drama school, and learned to play only using his left hand. While listening to the interview, I came to the conclusion that many times we place unnecessary limitations on ourselves.

If a young man can learn to play the piano, become good enough to be accepted into Guildhall, and tour the world with just one hand, then what on earth is stopping any of us from achieving our dreams? I am a realistic idealist (yes, we really exist), so I know that some circumstances are beyond our control, but I also know that countless others have beaten the odds and moved beyond their circumstances into successful careers. I believe that persistence and hard work are just as beneficial as raw talent–sometimes more.

After all, talent is nothing without the persistence to carry out the task–in spite of obstacles, and the work ethic to keep motivated.

Just Like Everyone Else. I have been reading The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky for a few weeks now. Yesterday I came across a quote that resonated with me. The narrator was describing siblings Varvara and Gavrila. He wrote, “There is nothing so annoying as to be fairly rich, of a fairly good family, pleasing presence, average education, to be “not stupid”, kind-hearted, and yet to have no talent at all, no originality, not a single idea of one’s own–to be, in fact, “just like everyone else.” ”   In other words: mediocre. I’m a recovering perfectionist, so the word “average” is like a curse. The most noteworthy people, regardless of social standing, are the ones who are above average in some area of their lives. When I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to be just like everyone else.

However, I am not meant to be like everyone else. I am unique. I have a different point of view from everyone else, even though we may have things in common. If I want to be of any assistance to anyone, I have to accept the identity that God gave me, and refuse to be ordinary.

Work! Yesterday I came home from work, put on my pajamas, and spent a few hours on the computer before going to bed at 8:30. My body ached, and I felt the way I used to whenever my respiratory illness would flare up (I spent most of my early teens being treated for asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis, so I can always tell if I have to get an inhaler and/or penicillin.)

I didn’t feel too much better when I woke up this morning, and I was ready to call in sick…until I found out that my mother was “Gung-Ho!” to go to work with her flu. I followed her example and dragged my sick self to work, and ended up feeling better toward the end of my shift. Of all of the great things I’ve inherited from my mom, I’m proud to have acquired her tireless work ethic.

Quiet.   I am really committed to following the motto, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I believe that our words have the power to shape our lives–for better or for worse. I am  often so sharp-tongued that my dad consistently asks me if I eat razor blades for breakfast, but I also know that sometimes it’s better for me to keep my opinions and snide remarks to myself.

Some people, while great at criticizing others, are horrible at being criticized. Also? There’s no guarantee that what you say won’t be used against you in the future. Our words have a funny way of coming back to haunt us. For the most part, I’d rather keep quiet and have everyone believe that I’m ignorant, than speak and reveal that I am.

 

Well, that’s all.

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday!

Peace,

Erie

 

 

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