It was one of those days when you suddenly have time and you don’t know what to do with it; the wedding ceremony I’d attended was over by four in the afternoon and the reception was late in the evening; somehow the idea of traveling home and returning didn’t appeal to me.
“Bob, why don’t you come home and meet my parents?”
His name was Patrick, and I’d heard him sing many times, a powerful tenor with a great voice, “Sure,” I said, relieved I had somewhere to go.
He sat at his piano and sang operatic pieces, which were beautiful and sounded even more so with the voice he had. A little later his dad joined in, a professor of English and I realized from whom the son had got his talent.
“Will you have some cake?” asked the homely lady, my friend’s mother, who till then had been pottering around, tidying the table, putting a chair in place, listening to her son singing and smiling quietly at her husband’s banter.
“Do you sing?” I asked her and she actually giggled like a little girl and looked at her talented son and smiling husband. “Mother shocked us last week, ” said Patrick, “we were singing at the piano when suddenly dad and I heard the most melodious voice behind us and found it was ma!”
“We’ve been showing off all these years and never realized we had a soprano soloist in the house!” her husband said, “and now she’s going to join a choir!”
And as I sipped her tea and smiled at her I remembered another person like her who suddenly realized his hidden talent: This particular man played piano in a bar. He was a good piano player. People came just to hear him and his group play. But one night, a patron wanted them to sing a particular song. The trio didn’t sing much and declined.
But the customer was persistent. He told the bartender, “I’m tired of
listening to the piano. I want that guy to sing!” The bartender shouted across the room, “Hey buddy! If you want to get paid, sing the song. The patrons are asking you to sing!”
So he did. He sang a song. A jazz piano player who had never sung a song in public did so for the very first time. And nobody had ever heard ‘Sweet Lorraine’ sung the way it was sung that night by Nat King Cole.
He had talent he was sitting on. He may have lived the rest of his
life playing in a jazz trio in no-name bars, but because he had to sing, he went on to become one of the best-known entertainers in America.
You too my friend, have skills and abilities. You may not feel as if your
“talent” is particularly great, but in all probability it may be better than you think! How often I’ve had readers writing in, about how they wished they could write and I’ve found from their letters they write well. “Hey,” I tell them, “You’ve got talent!” And remember with persistence, most skills can be improved. Besides, you may as well have no ability at all if you sit on whatever talent you possess.
Make a pact with yourself today: “Let me discover the hidden talent I already have..!”
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