"Mom, why are you crying so much?"
My 10-year old daughter asked, as we continued our new family tradition of watching America's Got Talent. It wasn't unusual for me to tear up during the pre-performance videos, but the waterworks were really going at this particular moment.
I wasn't sure right away why this performance had struck me in such a different way. Wasn't it just another singing performance?
Well, not exactly.
The performer was Kodi Lee, a young man who is legally blind and has Autism. He didn't look or act like the other performers. To be honest, if I had run into him on the street, I might have been a little timid because I didn't know how to best interact with him. And I dare say that he didn't quite match the image that our society often has of strength or success.
But that voice…
And that joy….
That spark…that is uniquely his…and is clearly needed and appreciated by so many.
There are so many elements of his story that could have led to my tears, the tremendous love of his family (and especially his mom), the lyrics he chose to sing, the reactions of the judges…
But those weren't it.
My tears stemmed from imagining a world where Kodi's spark was never discovered. A world where he was brushed aside because of his seeming lack of "strength" or because he acted differently than others. Or a world where circumstances kept him from discovering and sharing his gift with others.
So, what does this have to do with you? Or with me? (because I am DEFINITELY not a gifted singer…just ask my family).
YOU also have a spark that the world needs. There is something special about you that is unique to you…a way that only YOU can contribute. There is some way that your passions and strengths combine into a spark that will be lacking in the world if you don't share it.
Don't believe me? Not sure where to start to find that spark? Humor me by taking time to reflect on the questions below. We'll dig into this more in the coming months, but this is good start.
Finding your passion:
- What are some of your happiest memories from the last year? What were you doing during them?
- If you could do any job you wanted, what would it be?
- If you won $1000 but were required to give it to one charity, who would you give it to? Why?
- What are the top three problems you think need solving in the world?
Finding your strength:
- What do you friends and family members think you're best at?
- What type of help do people most often seek from you?
Write down your answers as a starting point and then…
Experiment! What situations can you put yourself in that will give you a chance to experience an overlap of your passions and strengths? Here's a tip...Volunteering is a great way to both discover and hone your skills and ignite your passion.
The cool thing about Spark Crates is that they allow you to experience a variety of projects for many different causes. You're not locked into one cause or one job until you want to be.
No matter how you do it, take some time to think and act to discover your passion and strengths.
We all NEED you to #shareyourspark.