There are several versions of the Parable of the Talents (a form of money back in ancient times). But the one that strikes home for me is the one where the master left on a trip, giving three of his employees some of his talents. One wasted the talents on self indulgent behavior. The second safely buried the talents he was given. The third invested the talents and grew them.
When the master returned, he was pissed off at the first two and rewarded the third.
Plainly, we’ve all been given unique talents. Waste them on self-indulgent anger/sadness/hurt/depression? Bury them like forgotten dreams, a spiritual fingerprint unlived? Or invest in our unique talents/gifts and make a positive difference in the world?
I’ve done all three. Wasted my talents, played small, went for the short term gratification – lost respect for myself, which is the only way I could continue to act as if my life didn’t matter.
Invested my talents, followed my heart, got my Master’s degree, took courses (More To Life, in specific), set goals and disciplines for myself – knowing that I’m in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing for me. The reward – deep satisfaction, gratitude and awe – wondering how did I get so lucky!! (Basically I stopped doing the other two things, and had someone believe in me, until I could believe in myself.) Thank you, Dr. Bradford Brown!