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Beyond Talent—Three Qualities to Cultivate

“Time to Cultivate”

I remember two things about watching The Wizard of Oz as a kid:

    1. My little brother so terrified of the Wicked Witch of the West he left the room crying.
    2. The underwhelming effect of seeing the whole movie on a black-and-white TV set.

But I loved the film anyway. And today I’m loving that its characters and what they represent found their way into this blog post.

It all started at the annual talent show tryouts last Thursday at my kids’ elementary school.

It was the first year my 8-year-old wanted to give it a try, and I expected, of course, to feel proud of my little girl and her two friends as they danced to Demi Lovato’s “Confident.”

But I also witnessed three other things that topped off my pride tank:




And if we get a little creative ourselves, we could write it like this:




Look familiar?

The Cowardly Lion—Courage

There’s no way I would’ve ever attempted a talent show act at age eight; I was always the one trying to avoid attention at school.

But here were these first and second graders performing in front of big-deal fifth graders and plenty of parents. And not just that, by trying out, they were saying YES to being in the finale—in front of the whole school.

That takes guts.

The Tin Man—Heart

One of the first acts up was a group of about eight kids of different ages and abilities. Students and adults all cheered when they finished. In another, the girls kept pointing to each other, figuring out who should be making the next move. Didn’t matter, we all cheered when they finished.

Every person in the crowd–whether parents or other kids trying out–sent love through their actions to the performers. Just think how each child must have felt upon receiving that love.

That’s better than winning any talent show.

The Scarecrow—Brains

Seeing the ideas in a child’s head being transformed into an artistic performance is like watching a magic show. Here are these little people, most no older than a decade, channeling inspiration into a form we can all witness.

That’s goosebump kind of stuff.

So really, the talent show tryouts were a series of moments where life reminded me that the qualities we esteem most, go beyond raw talent. And if we keep our eyes and hearts open, we’ll find them in our own “backyards,” maybe even a little closer . . .

Did this week’s post bring back some memories for you? Let’s talk in the comments!

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