When I was growing up, I bought into my parents’ message of me being the smartest, most talented singer, most talented pianist, best piano teacher, whatever. So, as a result, I constantly felt slighted if other people got better grades, got the solos I wanted, or were praised for things that I thought I was the “best” at.

Now that I’m older and have seen so many other talented people in the world, I wish I could go back and tell myself that my talents were a dime a dozen. Not in any way diminishing my own talents, but to realize that there are lots of talented people out there and that it isn’t as important as I thought it was to be “recognized” as such. When I see shows where people can make amazing outfits in a day (Project Runway), make believable special effect costumes and art out of humans (FaceOff), cook, dance, sing – when I see the vast richness of what a human can do, I am ashamed at how much I thought of myself.

Again, it’s not to say I wasn’t good at the things I was good at, but I hope to pass along to my kids that their innate talent may be great, but hard work will do more for them than just relying on talent – especially when there are so many talented people out there. Plus, that they should be grateful and humble for their talents – because they had nothing to do with them. They were given to them. It is their job to be a good steward of these talents (hmmm… that sounds like a parable…) and make the most of them, if they so choose.