Celebrate Your Talents

I always look forward to November 24. I love the aroma of foods such as turkey,  stuffing, rice,  greens, and cranberry sauce dancing in the air throughout the house. Aside from the smell and the consuming of food, I now have something else to celebrate on November 24- Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day.

While it is unknown of how or when this day originated, I can tell you that the purpose of this day is to celebrate your unique abilities, share them with the world, and in my opinion give thanks that you have them. Each and everyone one of us has a talent that make us unique. That talent can be anything, such as playing instruments; singing; dancing; martial arts; swimming; writing; public speaking; designing; sowing; etc. What is your unique talent? 

Bianca Joseph, sales and support generalist at Victoria Secret’s PINK, has two unique talents- music and photography. As a baby and young child, Joseph saw her father playing music. She liked hearing it and seeing him play. It made her want to try as any child would, so she would try to sing and bang on the instruments. When she was old enough, her father taught her the basics.

“When I was about 14, I liked cameras and wanted one, so my dad got me a point and shoot camera. I took pics all the time. Now I have a DSLR camera and have been taking pics with it since 2012. I just brought a newer one this year.”

Like Joseph, I too have two unique talents- writing and singing. I discovered my love of writing during my high school senior year as I wrote articles for the school paper The Viking Conqueror. I was tasked as the head world news person. Doing the research and putting the words to paper to inform others gave me a second voice. Interviewing individuals was like opening a book because each person had something to tell. Over the years, I expanded my writing horizon by writing news articles for the Austin Peay State University newspaper and doing creative writing. In creative writing I feel free to use more of my imagination and use my own words. Writing in general is a spectacular gift because it is a way for me to voice myself in a way that I can’t quite do as well verbally. Henceforth, why I have my own blog. 

I’ve been singing for many years; from doing special music in church to school choirs. I first happened upon the gift of song in second grade. Before I was singing in front of anybody, I was singing underneath a table in class until someone heard me. It wasn’t long before I sang in front of the class and other teachers down the second grade hallway. One of my fondest memories of singing was in high school show choir, during my junior year on Cabaret Night. The theme that year was Disney. That night I stepped onto the stage for the first time to sing a solo. The song choice- “We Are One” from The Lion King 2.  As I stood in the dark with my friend Chris with his guitar, gripping the mic, I kept thinking, God, please don’t let me mess up. I stood barefooted from the prior dance number; feeling the cold stage on my heels and toes. Chris played the first chord, and I began. The spot light shined bright on me, at first feeling as hot as the sun. Each stanza of the song flowed from me like a gentle stream of water. At the climax of the song, I motioned for the crowd to clap slowly. With no hesitation they followed. In the crowd I beheld all the smiles, and I managed the biggest one of all. Any fear I had prior to then had disappeared like my stuttering always seems to do whenever I sing. The appplause I received at the end of the song made me feel golden. I was so flustered that I couldn’t quite get the mic back on the mic stand, so one of my choir members gave me a hand saying, “You did such a good job, David.”. Before rushing backstage to change, I heard a familiar voice in the crowd say aloud, “That’s my son.”

Singing is important to me because as I am doing it my stuttering seems non existant. While I refuse to put my words to music, the singing gives me hope. It gives me hope that one day I can overcome it like many famous individuals have, such as Joe Biden; Ed Sheeran; King George VI; and James Earl Jones. I don’t expect my speech to be flawless, but I can hope and pray that I can get my speech to where I’m talking just as good as anyone. I believe I’m doing better.

This Thanksgiving as you are giving thanks for family; friends; and accomplishments, be sure to give thanks for your talents, because they are what make you unique. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless.

Sources: 

“Nov24 Fun Holiday – Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day.” Fun Holiday – Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2016.

Digital image. Http://img.picturequotes.com/2/200/199186/talent-is-truth-on-display-quote-1.jpg. N.p., n.d. Web.

World Hello Day

Break out those hit songs by Adele; Lionel Richie; and Oasis, because it is World Hello Day.

Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t know this day existed, because I just learned of it as well. Now we can both celebrate and participate. In response to the Yom Kippur War of 1973, World Hello was created that year by Brian and Michael McCormack on November 21 (“World Hello Day 2016”). The casualty counts for that war were extremely high, with Israel suffering less than 12,000 and Egypt and Syria combined suffering over 60,000 (“The Arab-Israeli War of 1973: Honor, Oil, and Blood | HistoryNet.”).

The purpose of World Hello Day is for our world leaders to resolve their issues through talking rather than bloodshed. Each year, 180 countries take part by greeting at least ten people(“World Hello Day – November 21, 2016.”). 

Not only does World Hello Day serve world peace, but it also encourages interpersonal communication. The first step in developing any type of relationship starts with the greeting, so go out and say hello to a stranger. They may become your next friend, coworker, business partner, or significant other. Also, just greeting someone lets them know lets them know that you acknowledge their presence and are comfortable with them. It sure beats an awkward stare down when you come across someone in a hallway. 

There are no rules, but seek to greet someone in person, rather than via text. This is just my opinion, but it makes the experience seem more real because you get to see the expression upon one’s face and they can see yours. Let’s say someone is having an unpleasant morning at work. They’ve been at their job site since 4:00 am, and they are counting down the minutes to the end of their shift. You walk in at 12:00 pm with a smile on your face, and you greet that person. Just being greeted and seeing your golden expression can put that person in a happy mood as well. 

Go greet everyone today: family, friends, crushes, coworkers, teachers, strangers. Have a good day.

Sources:
“World Hello Day 2016.” Kleiner Kalender. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

@HistoryNet. “The Arab-Israeli War of 1973: Honor, Oil, and Blood | HistoryNet.” HistoryNet. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

“World Hello Day – November 21, 2016.” World Hello Day – November 21, 2016. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

https://cdn.meme.am/cache/instances/folder386/500x/65346386.jpg. Web. 21 Nov. 2016

Lack of or Abundance of Common Sense

Originally I was going to encourage people to participate in a holiday called “Use Your Common Sense Day”, but then I thought, Why should common sense be used and recognized only for day? It should be used all the time. 

Growing up in the Harris Household, common sense was highly encouraged by my parents. Me and my siblings have had our fair share of lectures by our parents, especially our father, about what we did wrong and what we should have done right. As adults, they can’t tell us what to do now, but if we ask them for their input, they will more than happily tell us what seems right and what seems asinine. Common sense by definition is “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good judgment”( Merriam-Webster). 

Every day it seems that a lack of common sense can be observed: getting behind the wheel intoxicated; waiting till the night before the due date to work on college papers; letting your gas tank get dangerously close to empty before filling it up. The question is, does the lack of common sense in the world outweigh the abundance of common sense in the world?

“Lack. Maybe? Or is it just that we see it more?” said business owner Christopher Gajewski. “When you take away art, physical education, music, and put a premium on the ‘sciences’, you dumb down the generation. A lack of common is a lack of critical thinking skills. A lack of common sense is a lack of humanities in our schools and in our lives.”

James de Moss, social media correspondent for a small business, said that it all depends on how you define common sense. He said that he feels common sense can best be described as the ability to question.

“For example: I find an article across my Facebook feed that says ‘such n such has decided that eating babies is a good idea and is a monster for it,'” said Moss.

“Let’s say I already disliked that public figure. I’m automatically inclined to agree with anything that supports my preconceived opinions about them because humans are inherently subjective and biased.”

“Lacking common sense means I would post that article and immediately believe it, perhaps even with a bit of skepticism. But I’d still repost it because it feeds my internal narrative.”

“Having common sense, however, would mean that I would question it, even if it agrees or fosters my internal bias. I come to a conclusion quickly that I either do not believe this outlandish idea or that it should be further investigated. I research. It is false. I do not post it.”

Moss said he feels that common sense, in a world where the definition is “thinks about something before doing it,” is a dying process and is not fostered in our youth as it once was.

“There is almost no common sense left in the world.  In fact we are living in the world of idiocracy, ” said salesman Johnny Henderson. “People are always talking about what they would do in a zombie apocalypse, but all these non thinkers are the zombie invasion, tied to their smartphones playing Pokemon Go! Common sense has been flushed down the toilet of society! Anything pure, good, and of any real value is gone down the memory hole!”

While common sense isn’t something that can be taught, we can try to take the time to think all the way through before making a decision. Hopefully we make the wise decision. If we don’t make the right choice, then the best thing we can do is learn from it. Here are a few common sense examples:

  • Do not drink and drive because you are just going to hurt someone, yourself, or both.
  •  If it is 50 degrees or lower outside, wear something warm. The likely outcome of not doing so will be you getting sick and passing your germs onto someone else. 
  • Don’t believe everything you hear on social media platforms, because not everything found on them is truthful. If you’re looking for legit news, look towards legitimate news sites; news channels; or a newspaper. (Some people still read them.)
  • Before doing anything illegal, consider if what you’re contemplating is truly worth going to jail over. Criminal records follow you forever and don’t look good on job applications. 
  • Being yourself means to speak, behave, and support with your own ideals, interests and intentions. When you put others’ behaviors or attitude into your actions, it’s obvious. Don’t play yourself,” said Carneisha Harris, benefits specialist for a Fortune 500 company. 

 

Sources:

Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.

 

Above All Leaders

I told myself that I was not going to write anything about this year’s presidential election, but with how divided everyone seems with the results, I felt compelled to write away.

Early on Election Day, I spoke with my father about why I’m not too crazy about election time. Make no mistake, I voted. To not vote in my opinion is missing an opportunity to voice yourself.  I just don’t like how elections and political parties most of all divide the nation. George Washington, the first U.S president, himself warned about political parties. 

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”(George Washington’s Mount Vernon)

Dad reassured me about the pro of election time. You get to see people for who they truly are and where they stand on issues such as immigration; war; healthcare; gun control; and my least favorite, abortion. Everyone should indeed voice their opinions, but sometimes those opinions can get out of control, especially on social media. 

With the exception of sharing this piece to Facebook, I have taken my leave of that social media platform since the day after Election Day. I think I’m going to stay off for a little while longer. I’m staying off of it because I refuse to see the divide between aquaintances, friends, family, and current and former church members. It’s good that everyone has an opinion, but when that opinion turns into petty arguing on your newsfeed, sometimes you just have to log off. I call this leave a “Facebook Fast.”

Since the election results I have seen some positive posts among the bickering.  Those posts are people saying that no matter the victor of the election, that they serve God above all. To those who said those things, I thank you for taking away any uneasiness I had on my heart that night. 

When the polls were coming to a close, I spent some time on my knees praying for a victory for Clinton. However, I also told my God that regardless of whoever won that I serve Him and whatever happened that I wouldn’t lose my faith in Him. Those appointed or self appointed to lead the nations of the world have time ticking against them, but God’s Kindgom has no end. I tell you also, that He has a hand in those chosen to lead the land.

“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings, and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who have understanding.” – Daniel 2:21 NKJV

Though I may fear for whatever Trump has planned, I must remember that God too has a plan. Whatever the future may hold, remember that He is in control. 


Sources:

@MountVernon. “George Washington’s Mount Vernon.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.

No Matter Who Is President, Jesus Is King. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.

The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments: New King James Version, Personal Size Giant Print Edition with Read-along References, Read-along Translations, Maps, and Concordance ; Words of Christ in Red. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson Bibles, 1992. Print.