When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”
Erma passed away in 1996. A quick squizz at Wiki tells us that she was ‘an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life humorously from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became best-sellers’.
Until gorgeous lady and friend, Karen, posted this quote on Facebook (the cyber thing that 1 in 14 people accessed a week ago. Probably 1 in 10 today!) I didn’t know much about Erma. The simplicity behind her message posted above made me want to discover more. Her name rang a bell, certainly, but I couldn’t place her as a philosopher or writer.
The fact she was a noted funny woman and managed to write beautifully about her thoughts on talent inspired me to read further. She was funny, witty, failed many of her literary assignments at university and was even rejected by the uni newspaper. She was told she’d have no kids, adopted a baby, then had two more naturally in the years post-adoption. She wrote, made people laugh and I wonder when she stood before God, whether she was able to say she did use everything he gave her. Hope so.
What fantastic words. If I dropped dead now, I wouldn’t be able to say ‘I used everything you gave me.’ Would any of us? Perhaps being able to claim that talents have been used up differentiates a ‘full life’ from one half-lived? Who knows. What’s important is to try and use those talents and to wring them dry.
What if you’re not talented? I suppose we just dry up a lot faster!
Sometimes, we have no idea where our talents might lie. It’s interesting, in an effort to make school more inclusive and fair, all children are rewarded with certificates and told that they are wonderful at what they do. Don’t get me wrong. I love to hear kids encouraged and supported while doing something they love. However, this can make for more confusion about where a child’s true talent lies.
In days of yore, you knew if you could sing (Dulce has a LOVELY voice) or if you couldn’t (By Golly, tell Dulce to shut the hell up, ffs). You knew if you were sporty, stunning, top student in maths, good at reading, best at running, wonderful at marching, tops in wrestling. Today, children are told they are fabulous at all things. It’s great, but perhaps they need their talents a wee bit more defined as they grow older?
Then they can prepare to use every bit of talent they’ve been gifted, so that by the end, it will have all been used up. The older we are, the faster we need to get on with this! It’s never too late to start.