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Bettering The World Through Your Unique Gifts
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Bettering The World Through Your Unique Gifts

A great story meets you where you are. A great story causes you to reflect, to self-evaluate.

And, an even greater story prompts you to make a choice, to act.

Today, we’d like to share a story with you, and after reading this article, you too will make a decision.

Will you ignore the prompt to change, to improve your life and the lives of those near you?

Or, will you choose to make a difference, to better the world around you through your personal, unique, and special gifts? 

The Crippled Fox And The Tiger

Within a lush green forest lived a man in his humble cabin.

He often strolled through the woods, where he witnessed both pain and beauty.

Blossoming trees, pollinating bees. Birds with broken wings, butterflies flitting about without a care.

Sometimes the man marveled at how the abundant beauties of the forest overshadowed any pain, then one day, while out hunting, such a mixture of the two befuddled him…

As he walked quietly through the woods, the man came upon a lame fox. The creature seemed to have incurred a horrible injury some time ago, his two front legs completely crippled.

He thought to himself, how could such a creature survive, how could this fox even hunt for food to eat?

Just then the man heard a rustling in the nearby brush. And, upon seeing this powerfully majestic site, he hid behind a large tree.

Its beautiful orange hued fur tinted with deep black stripes, its large claws protruding from its equally impressive paws, a tiger had emerged from the brush, its freshly killed prey dangling from its razor sharp teeth.

How amazing, how intimidating!

Yet, the fox remained still, unmoved, unfrightened.

The man watched intently, in awe, as the tiger ravaged the prey it had brought near to the crippled fox.

Then, this majestic creature did something entirely odd, wholly unusual…it left the scraps from its meal for the fox.

The man was puzzled, perplexed.

He thought, “Ah, I see. If God provides for this crippled fox in such a way, He will surely provide for me, bringing food to me, just as He did for the fox.”

So, he ceased his hunting that day and returned to his humble cabin, where he waited.

After a week, the man was overly hungry, but still he waited. “God will bring food to me, just as He did for the fox.”

After more time passed, the man began to starve. He became emaciated.

And soon, an angel visited the man, approaching him with the following questions:

“Why did you choose to imitate the crippled fox?”

“Have you not been equipped with special gifts and skills to not only contribute to this world, but to make your own way as well?”

“Arise from your bed, gather your tools, and consider the tiger.”

The tiger…

Hmmm, the man thought for a moment…

The tiger runs swiftly, his eyesight keen, his captured prey offering sustaining nourishment, and yet he noticed the fox.

The fox could’ve been an easy prey for the tiger, but instead, the tiger used his unique skill to better the forest, the world, for the fox.

As the man pondered these things, he went the way of the tiger, using his own special gifts and abilities to provide for himself, and to enrich the lives of those around him. 

Consider The Tiger

The man chose the way of the tiger…which way will you choose?

It is said that we are always changing, never stagnant. So, how will you allow this story to change you?

Have you been acting as the fox, crippled or not, waiting for life to bring you scraps?

Or are you…will you be…the tiger, using your abilities, the gifts and skills unique to you to better your life and the lives of those around you?

The thing is, we have all been blessed with talents, gifts, and skills. And, it’s up to us to use our unique treasures to make the world a better place.

But how? 

Identifying Your Unique Gifts

Sometimes we can easily identify the gifts and skills we’ve been blessed with.

Perhaps you’re a good listener? As you consider the tiger, you know you can offer an ear and a shoulder to those in need.

Perhaps you’ve been blessed with a talent for cooking? You can volunteer your time cooking at a shelter, for your family, for your friends in times of need, and simply to be a blessing to others.

Maybe you’ve been blessed financially? You can wisely use this blessing to bless others.

Or, perhaps you’ve been gifted musically? What a great way to uplift spirits, provide comfort, and relaxation to those in need.

However, if you find yourself struggling to identify your unique gifts and skills, here are a few suggestions to help you find the ways you are likely best suited to contribute to your family, your circle, and the world around you.

  • Identify activities that seem to give you a sense of ease. Oftentimes our talents and strengths come to us naturally. These are the things we don’t necessarily have to try very hard to accomplish. Such activities are likely those that you can easily focus on and which bring you energy.

 

  • Journal your thoughts daily, especially those that center around admiration of others. Sometimes the gifts and positive attributes we recognize in others are those we relate to but simply do not express personally. Journaling can also help you to see the talents you are learning in life, and as you see these more clearly, you can then use these to benefit others.

 

  • Use a self-assessment tool like a personality test to determine areas you gravitate towards, areas you are gifted in, and areas you are best suited to serve others in.

 

  • Seek the advice of those closest to you, asking them to help you identify your personal areas of skill and talent. Those near you can often see what you’re unable to see within yourself.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out and serve others, perhaps joining friends, family, or colleagues in their endeavors. By jumping right in and helping out alongside others, you may find the areas you, personally, have been best gifted to use for the good of the world.

 

  • Know your passions. Most often, the things you’re most passionate about involve, in some way, your unique gifts.

 

  • Do you highly value a listening ear, sympathy, care, and concern in the responses of others? Then you are likely a listener, a caring and kind soul the world desperately needs. Seek to pour your passion into others who need it most. Are you passionate about the environment? Then use your knowledge to share environmentally friendly tips and techniques with others, allowing them to join you in your efforts to preserve our planet.
  • Look for your gifts in times of adversity. When the going gets tough, oftentimes we find out what we’re really made of. In challenging times, seek to identify those areas where you shine, then when you emerge from such challenges, continue to shine in your unique way to enhance the lives of those around you.

 

  • You may find you’ve been blessed with multiple skills and talents (most of us are). So, don’t be afraid to use your many gifts in a variety of ways. 

       

      Using Your Unique Gifts To Better The World


      Once you’ve identified your skills, talents, or gifts (also recognizing that you may learn of new ways to enhance the world as you age), you may find it difficult to know how to use those gifts.

      If you find yourself at a loss for how to effectively use your gifts, take a look at the following suggestions, and see if you can find something that resonates with you, a way that you, personally, can help to better the world through your unique gifts!  

       

       

      • Volunteer. The world always needs volunteers. 

      If you enjoy cooking, seek to volunteer at a shelter, preparing food for those in need. If you enjoy singing or playing music, contact your local nursing home to see if you can use your talents to bless the residents there. 

       

      If your talent involves listening, volunteer your time at a crisis hotline. If you are a gifted caregiver, seek to volunteer your time assisting your friends or family with their young children, providing an often much needed break for parents. 

       

      If you are a gifted athlete consider volunteering your time mentoring or assisting a youth sports program. And, if you’re gifted in any school subject, talk to a teacher or local school system to find opportunities to volunteer as a tutor for students in need. 

       

      • Perform. If you are a gifted musician, artist, dancer, or painter, use your gift to better the world through performance (painting, sculpting, sketching, etc. can be seen as performance here as well). 

       

      Can you imagine a world without music, dancing, or art? Rather, who would want to imagine a world without music, dancing, or art? 

       

      Whether you realize it or not, our world is shaped through the arts. Emotions are shaped through the arts. And, while I could go on and on here, consider this very simple example: 

       

      A young college student at the University of Kentucky was working on his undergraduate degree in choral music education and piano performance. A prodigy by many standards, this young man’s true talents were primarily known only to those closest to him. 

       

      But, as he was far away from home for his college studies, he joined a church near the college where he volunteered to lead the worship team when a dire need arose. 

       

      During his time as worship leader, even at a young age, he enriched the lives of so many in the congregation, bringing joyful tears through worship, bringing encouragement as he taught music to others, and inspiring those even younger than he to pursue a career in music. 

       

      The point? Dear tiger, no matter your age, share your gifts, for you know not the lives you may touch, the paths you may forge in the process. 

       

      • Contribute financially. We briefly mentioned this earlier, but sometimes folks are blessed financially, and this may be the gift needed most in the lives of many. 

       

      Charities benefiting battered women, environmental charities providing clean air, soil, and water, charities building schools, organizations providing jobs for women, associations providing housing for those in need…the list could go on for miles. 

       

      And, do you know what each of these charities or organizations have in common? They each need financial donations to continue their much needed work. 

       

      Never underestimate the value of financial support. For some, you may have been blessed with this unique gift solely for the purpose of bettering the world. 

       

       

      What Happens When You Use Your Gifts

       

       When you use your gifts and talents a cascade of events take place. 

       

      Of course, the direct results of you using your unique talents causes an immediate betterment to those you serve or those in direct view or reach of your service. 

       

      But, there are also indirect effects that positively benefit the world in such cases. 

       

      Sharing Your Gift Inspires Others

       

      Consider the fact, yes it’s a fact, that when you share your gifts with others, you inspire those around you to do the same. 

       

      One lady told of how she was a gifted dancer. She explained that when she took the stage, others rejoiced, even sharing with her of how they were encouraged and uplifted every time they saw her perform. 

       

      But, she was still reluctant to use her gift. Why? Because she said she didn’t want to make it “about me.” 

       

      Upon further evaluation, she decided that she was being selfish, in the name of humility. 

       

      So, she danced. She continued to take the stage and share her gift with others. 

       

      In turn, this inspired others to do the same. 

       

      You see, when we share our gifts with the world, the world reacts. 

       

      Just like the man who witnessed the tiger and the fox, you too react when you see gifts being shared with others. 

       

      And, like the tiger and the fox, you’ve just got to remember to be the tiger, sharing your gifts with those in need to help make this world a better place. 

       

      Sharing Your Gifts Builds Relationships

       

      While it seemed unlikely, the tiger and the fox did have a relationship, built through the tiger sharing its unique skill. 

       

      When you share your gifts with the world, you are inevitably sharing a part of who you are. And, as you share yourself with others, you open the door to relationships. 

       

      As you share your talents, you will likely meet like-minded people, either with similar talents or a true passion for the talent you’re sharing. This can open the door for bonds and relationships enhancing your life and the lives of those you meet. 

       

      Sharing Your Gifts Brings Overall Life Enhancement

       

      Obviously you aren’t sharing your gifts for what you can receive in return, but in most cases, when you share your talents with others you reap benefits as well. 

       

      Studies have shown that people who share their gifts and talents with others improve their self-confidence, experience increases in energy, and improve their overall health and well-being, both mentally and physically. 

       

      From hosting fundraisers, performing, volunteering, tutoring, mentoring, coaching, cleaning, cooking, or contributing financially, the possibilities are endless. 

       

      So, please don’t keep your unique gifts to yourself, instead, use your special skills to better the world around you. 

       

      In other words, today we challenge you to…be the tiger.

       

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        References:
        https://spiritualgrowthevents.com/tiger-fox-spiritual-story/
        https://lumenkind.com/blogs/communicate/contribute-unique-gifts
        https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2016/01/discover-your-gifts?lang=eng
        https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-ways-identify-your-talents-and-utilize-them.html
        https://www.keetria.com/the-importance-of-sharing-your-gift/
        https://letsgowin.com/share-your-gifts-with-the-world/

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