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Expect a Masterpiece

By Steven Goodier

Steve Goodier has graciously consented to share some of his inspiring motivational articles with us from

It was reported that one man was killed and another wounded in the Philippines when a fight broke out at a karaoke bar in Manila over the quality of the singing. "The Philippine Star" says fighting began when a group of drinkers claimed the man at the microphone was singing out of tune. Many karaoke clubs in the country have already removed Frank Sinatra's "My Way" from their playlists because of fistfights as the song was being performed. There was evidently no tolerance to let them sing it "their way."

While it's true that some people perhaps believe themselves to be talented in ways they clearly are not, that is not the case with most of us. People frequently lament that they have little or no talent; that they possess no "gifts" or unique abilities. Too many of us see ourselves as having little to contribute beyond our jobs. Too often we feel that we will make little difference in this world because we have nothing to offer.

But then there's Mary Clough. Mary has Down syndrome. She is a volunteer teacher at a school she herself attended many years ago. Mary works with 2- and 3-year-olds, some with Down syndrome and some without. Among other tasks, she helps with puzzles, reads stories and teaches the kids a variety of athletic activities. "We care about little kids here," she says. "We set examples for them."

Mary does not say that she has nothing to offer; she knows better. And I suspect she knows that it does not matter WHAT talents and abilities any of us has, but what we DO with them that counts.

John Ruskin correctly says, "When love and skill work together; expect a masterpiece." Mary takes what skill she has, combines it with a heartful of love, and gives it away as a masterpiece. She has much to teach us about using the talent we have.

© 2002 Steve Goodier

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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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