Life Lessons

Hidden Talents

Watching the Olympics, I marvel at the athletes – their skill and dedication, their years of sacrifice.  These elite athletes are a special breed and their kind of talent cannot be denied.

By comparison, the rest of us might seem ordinary, but we all have our hidden talents.

When I stopped by my brother’s place the other day, I was immediately drawn to a new piece of art hanging on the wall in his entryway.  This black and white photograph of a subway platform was urban and gritty, but it possessed an ethereal quality that I loved.

Porter Square T Staion

When I gushed about how wonderful it was, my brother didn’t say a word.  He just gave me the nod.  It’s a subtle mannerism of his.  He smiles and then gently nods his head twice.

“It’s one of my shots,” he finally admitted.

So I examined the photo more closely, noting the contrast of light and dark, the movement of the train – he’d successfully captured a moment and created a mood.  My brother, the chemical engineer, had been dabbling at photography for a couple of years, but I never realized how good he was until I saw this example of his work.

As I walked home that night, I thought about the corporate communication coach I know whose real talent is dancing the Tango.  She has such a passion for Tango that she travels to Argentina regularly just to dance.  I was reminded of my cousin, a retired teacher, who makes beautiful stained glass.  With patient and steady hands, she’s adept at cutting the glass, grinding the edges, foiling it, soldering it until she’s created a Tiffany styled lamp, wall sconce, or decorative mirror.

We all have some hidden talent that we likely take for granted.  We consider it a hobby.  But it’s often much more than that.  And it’s rewarding when that talent gets acknowledged.

red poppy


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