Bits and Bites of Everyday Life


Is talent an expression of our divine essence?

True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

In this computer-minded era, we tend to think of everything as mechanical or technical… even our brain. And in many ways the brain resembles a sophisticated computer… but the brain is more than a complex mass of neurons. The brain houses the universal intelligence we have inherited. The brain houses your unique spirit and spirit knows no boundaries.

So why, do you ask, are so many people unhappy, unsuccessful or unfulfilled? Well, you’ve probably heard it before, we only use about 5% of our brainpower. The rest of the time, we coast or we let others decide for us what we should or shouldn’t do. We settle for second best! We stagnate!
Buddha in his universal wisdom advised that: “We are what we think; all that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.”
Growing up, I often heard my mother saying, "Que veux-tu, quand tu es né pour un p’tit pain?" (Meaning: what can you do when you were born for a small loaf of bread?) Even as a child, I refused to adhere to that limiting principle. I believed that everyone was given talents and the capacity to lead a good life and be happy. I believed in my creativity and I enjoyed working. At age twelve, I discovered I could express myself as easily in the written language as in the spoken language through les concours de français. My parents were proud but never encouraged me. No matter, I made good use of that gift and visualized a world different from theirs.
  Adèle, at age 12, signing a copy of the anthology Jongle et ris.

Years later in a different world, I watched my daughter win first prize at Le Salon du livre de l’Outaouais for a story she had written about a little groundhog who wanted to attract the handsome male she had met in a nearby field. Adèle was twelve at the time. She went on to be published twice in the subsequent years and was master of ceremony for one of the galas. She did her first TV appearances at that age. (I watched the old video this week and couldn’t believe how professional she looked even at that young age.) She learned to play the piano and loved dancing. In Grade 12, she was a member of the high school dance group. She had talent and she used it!

But, “Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck – but most of all, endurance.” This quote from James Arthur Baldwin is so “à propos”!
Adèle was a very determined girl and she made good on everything she did. Today, a career-woman and proud mother of six, she has watched her own daughter become a published writer, autograph books and do her first TV interview at age nine in the last few weeks. It’s marvelous to see her encourage her children to learn and test their capabilities. She guides them and helps them along the way. She congratulates them for their persistence and their successes.
In a family, each one is unique and therefore talent will manifest itself in different ways. One can be a wonderful decorator, another has a beautiful voice or is an extraordinary dancer. Another is an excellent gardener, farmer, builder, mechanic, teacher, leader… The list goes on and on!
Nov. 3rd book signing at the school launch with five of the six young writers.  

Sydney Smith advises: “Whatever you are by nature, keep to it; never desert your line of talent. Be what nature intended you for and you will succeed.”

How many times have you heard disconcerted people say, “I wanted to become… but my parents wouldn’t let me. My dad was a … (dentist, lawyer, doctor, farmer…) and wanted me to follow in his footsteps. I’m successful at what I do but I feel empty.”
I recalled a survey where children were chosen randomly and their teacher told they had great potential. At the end of the year, those children had done better than the rest of the group. So in the eye of the beholder, talent can demonstrate its power and we must encourage it to bloom. This precious tidbit reminds us of that fact. “While you weren’t looking at me, I saw you post my first painting and immediately, I wanted to make another one.”
Recognition is all important because: “Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.” I’m sure Steve Jobs would agree with this quote from Warren G. Bennes. Praise can motivate; criticism or cynicism can ruin the expression of our divine essence. Let’s make sure we keep our thoughts at a high vibration level so they will inspire young talent.


in the spirit of your analogy, the real questions are: how fast is the brain (how many calculations per second) and how much can it store?

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