Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Phelphs

Michael Phelphs, 8 Gold Medals.

After a couple of years Michael's coach went to his mother and told her that they needed to start preparing him for the Olympics. His mother was dumbfounded and resistant as we all would be at such shocking and unlikely news. Coach Bowman at some point in the conversation asked "How are we going to stop it?" He knew they couldn't and it would appear they didn't try. Thank God.

This is one example were no one got in the way of a divinely inspired or installed, OK, God given, gift of talent beyond imagination. The person who usually interferes the most in developing a gift like this is the person with the gift. I think the vast majority of the gifted people out there self destruct unable to cope with being so glaringly talented and obtusely unique. They stand out from the crowd like a white guy at an NAACP convention. It's not comfortable for most of us.

It's hard to deal with. Add, how differently they must see and respond to the world through the filter or attraction of their gift. Think of how many things mean nothing to them that are so important to us. Could you train 8 hours a day and spend the rest of your time eating and playing video games and do this for years and years. Could you do this in pursuit of your favorite thing in the world and ignore everything else?

These folks are odd balls, brilliant, gifted and iconic miss-fits. This makes it all the more incredible that a Michael Phelphs ever arrives at his deserved place of honor and celebration. The weird kid who does nothing but swim and eat gets his due. The world celebrates his gift and his sacrifice of living in his own very different world and finding peace and joy there. I'm sure it's not easy and then there's the swimming and a demanding couch he has to deal with too.

We all have our gifts. How many of us truly honor and exploit them to the point of being truly different and blissful in our unique nature? People like Michael Phelphs remind us that we do have our unique gifts and there are rewards in taking the risk and showing them to the world. We need these reminders, thank-you and congratulations Michael Phelphs.

Thanks for reading.

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