I am not sure how I would answer this question, and to be honest, I am not sure what that means. When I first saw the subjects for this month’s NABLOPOMO, I thought that I do this all the time, but that is not what it means, so let me show you what it means to me.
At this time, we live in a world, where beauty is judge from the outside in. Children (and adults) are shown what it is like when certain standards take president over the norm. In a tall, skinny, male, Caucasian world, it is hard to tell anyone else that they are beautiful as well. This is what the thinking less of yourself comes into play. In order to compete, you need the right people. That is what society says. So yes, it was very easy for me, a short (5”), slightly overweight, slightly disabled, African American woman, with slightly above average grades to think less of myself. I wanted to do it all; act, sing, play an instrument, model, dance, and have Wall Street in the palm of my little hand. As a teen, I had low self-esteem, because I could do all of these things, despite what doctors told my parents, but I did not feel it. It was because at the time, all I saw in the 70s and 80s were the white, tall, skinny models, who I did not know had to starve themselves in order to stay so thin. I did not become overweight (the word is obese today), until my early teens, then dancing took the weight off. (Do you know how many calories a shuffle-ball-change-tap-step burn? It was enough to make me skinny again.)
Then when I wanted to be a dancer, and according to industry standards, you had to be between the height of 5’ 7” to 6” (I wanted to be a Rockette for starters, because I lived near New York City), or at least 5’7” in pointe shoes if you wanted to partner with someone. Sorry but in both industries, I could not have the long arms, if people wanted to show off long-sleeve blouses and tops, or to show how graceful I was when doing a pirouette. I fared a little better in the music department, but practicing was not my forte. Education was also the highlight of the Logan Household.
|Courtesy of Google Images|
OK, I got off the subject, let me reel it back in. I am very humbled to God to allow me to have these talents and more, but there are others who take their talents for granted, and do not feel the same way I feel about mine. So I guess the real question is “what do you do for others with your talent?” Are you doing it to boost yourself up, and to tell the world, “look what I am doing to make the world a better place,” or are you just quietly helping others? If that is the case, I am quietly helping others.
For instance, I have to laugh at the holiday season. Here is the reason why I laugh. For 11 months out of the year, people think of self. They self-promote and everything is me, myself, and I. “I make X dollars,” “I live in this house,” and “I drive this car.” Well, it is great that you self-promote, 10 points if you are a celebrity. I am not say that everyone does it or that it is wrong, but sometimes, there are some people who can overdo it just a little bit too much, Kanye? I did a little self-promotion at the beginning of this post. Did you notice it? I thought so.
Anyway, on that 12th month, everyone all of a sudden remembers that there are others in the world who do not have as much as they do, and out comes the checkbook. You start hearing phrases such as “I need to help someone out, what about the starving children of Ethiopia, I want to help them.” Well, what about them? They were there the other 11 months out of the year, why have you not notice them until now? Writing a check is good, actually helping is great. Put yourself out in the trenches. I do not mean that you have to go to a foreign country to do it. Help someone in your own back yard. Volunteer by helping someone. Show someone how to do your job. Talk to that person and give them resources, do not just talk. You can learn a lot. Ask them what they what they hope to gain from learning something new. You never know. A person may be just temporary displaced, and they need to know how to find shelter or to get started with something in order to find a decent place to sleep. OK, I am going to say it, “GIVE BACK!” Do not make it just one month out of the year to say that you did something good, but do it for all 12 months. Show someone how to organize who doesn’t know how. Work in a food pantry and see how the other half lives. If a person forgot their lunch at work and they do not have any money, offer to pay it for them. Better yet, do it anonymously (R.A.K-Random acts of kindness or Pay It Forward). Pay for the person’s dinner behind you. It is the little things you do that count.
So the original question is “How good am I at putting others before myself?” It is a work in progress, I am getting better at it. God is not finished with me yet in that department.
Be blessed and show others you are blessed, my friend, by doing things for others, and give back all 12 months of the year. This is something that may not cost a thing but your time.