Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What is a Gift? #life #talent #miracle

theguardian.com
When we talk of gifts, our minds turn to presents that we give for an occasion or reason.  However, whist these gifts play a very important role in expressing our feelings they are not the only context in which the word 'gift' can be used. One of the most beautiful gifts ever is the gift of life.  Who cannot help but marvel at the miracle of life when a new plant pops its head out of the soil to stretch its first  cotyledons towards the sunshine; or a chicken pecks its way out of the shell to emerge all bedraggled and wet only to morph into a yellow ball of fluff within a short space of time; or when the first cry of a newborn babe emits to herald the beginning of a new life. Life is truly a miracle and a gift. The gift of life continues to be a miracle throughout the entirety of life as a baby gives its first smile, takes its first step, as young love blossoms for the first time, as the body regenerates after sickness, and as the sun goes down on our lifetime, though the body and mind may be frail, we marvel at what each day will bring.

We simply have to look around us to appreciate the gifts that abound in our lives. The gift of nature, her beauty, her ferocity, her simplicity, her complexity shapes our lives and our futures. The gift of hearing enables us to be able to appreciate the beauty of music, the wonder of  speech and language, the comfort of waves lapping the shore and the excitement of a jet engine passing overhead. The gift of sight lays before us the beauty, and rawness, of a world laid bare. Through sight we witness first hand the very best and the very worst that life can bring. The gift of health is one we most often take for granted and fail to appreciate until we suddenly find it gone. All too late, we wish that we had taken care of the fragile gift of our health - not eaten that extra cake, had that extra glass of red wine, smoked that last cigarette. The gift of wealth is by definition the most diverse, as what one man defines as wealth, is poles apart from what another man may define wealth. Once we appreciate the gifts that define us, and the gift that our life really is, we will begin looking after not only ourselves but the world around us.
 
'Gift' is also used to describe a talent or a trait when people excel at a particular skill. What an apt and beautiful way to describe the skill of the musician, the genius of the mathematician, the flair of the artist and the ability of the top student. These are the people that make their field of expertise look flawless and simple. It is indeed a wonderful thing that the gifted in humanity are all gifted in a different way. How boring would it be in a world full of gifted scientists that solved mysterious formulae. The gifted have given us the works of Shakespeare, The Sistine Chappel, the Hadron Collider, Disney Land and Facebook to give you a microcopic example.Without our gifted and talented the world would indeed be a poorer place.

Whilst not every person is gifted in a genius type of way, I believe that each and every person is gifted in their own way. In a world where many choose to terminate their Down's Syndrome  pregnancies, I always marvel at the sunny nature of these children and adults and the gift of this sunshine that they add to our lives. Each of us deserves to be valued for the gifts that makes us the unique being that we truly are.

Some give the ultimate gift through donating their organs. Usually, the donation of organs involves the death of the donor and this selfless gift, not only from the donor but their loved ones, truly does mean a gift of life, as the recipients would surely die without this most significant gift.  

The gifts that touch our lives (which in themselves are a gift) are many and varied. The gifts vary from the material, to the emotional, to the imaginary, to the real. Whatever form the gifts in our lives take they are part of us, they shape us and the world around us. Give thanks for your gifts, appreciate them, take them by the throat and run with them!

en.wikipedia.org

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