For those who aren’t performing in the Variety Show

One time at home I started singing and my mom cried for me to stop, my sister’s ears starting bleeding, and three of my pets died. Just kidding. But it is true that my family hates when I sing, because I suck. And therefore, I am considered not talented. And therefore, I don’t stand out. And therefore, I guess I’m just a jealous, ordinary person.

People performing on stage with the spotlight on them are set apart from those who are sitting in the audience. Not just literally, but figuratively as well. Having a special talent turns ordinary into unique. The people on stage become noticed, appreciated, and judging by how many fangirls live on the internet, obsessed over. And that’s great for those people’s personal confidence and all that jazz. But does everyone have to be as good as the people on America’s Got Talent or the Voice in order to stand out and be considered talented?

The answer is, no. Not at all. People can stand out without natural born talent and seventy-nine years of training. Just look at the men and women in history who stood out without being marveled over something that requires long hours of practice. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr.—they stood out because of their actions, ideas, and words that made a difference. Not everyone can sing but everyone has opinions, a voice, and the ability to become famous.  Maybe not Brad Pitt famous, but famous to the people they’ve been a part of.

There’s always someone who is recognized for having that one specific, recognizable special talent. But a “talent” isn’t really defined anyways. Good at organizing your school work? Isn’t that a talent? Can you lip sync to every song that plays on the radio? Sounds pretty special to me. Talents don’t have to be in the stereotypical broad categories. Let’s look at singing, for example. Not every singer even has the same level of talent. Beyoncé is considered a very talented singer, but can she sing like John Lennon? That’ll be kind of weird, so no.

Another reason people mistake themselves for being talentless is because they have the lead in their high school play but they’re upset about not being as good at acting as Jennifer Lawrence. Try focusing not on being better than others but on improving individually. Try to be better than the person you were yesterday—not J-Law. And even she is probably upset about not winning and Oscar. So there you go, talent is such a vague concept. If being “good” is the goal, then it’s achievable through practice. But if being “talented” is the goal, wait—what even is “talented”?

So yeah, sometimes I get jealous of people who can actually sing. But I’m not jealous of them for being noticed by so many people because being notices is something anyone can do, even me. Standing out isn’t about that desirable, stereotypical “special talent”. There will always be people that are better and people better than those people and so on in this endless loop of ego, competition, and discontentment. Focus on self-improvement, little skills, and making differences. Because that’s pretty special too.

 

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