Thursday, December 17, 2009
Pass Your Knowledge On
Messages come from such unexpected places. Recently, an important one flashed before my eyes in the novel The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski. It is a story about devotion, betrayal and courage centering around the mute Edgar Sawtelle and his family of dog breeders in Northern Wisconsin. Since finishing the book, it has stayed with me. Overall, and in particular page 190. On that page, the author writes of an exchange of letters between 2 vastly different dog breeders, circa 1935. This is the paragraph that flashed and burned its message into my brain:
"I have the advantage of knowing," he wrote, "that long after I am gone my work will provide a foundation upon which future generations of dogs, breeders and trainers may build. Skill and talent alone are not enough. If these are bound up in you and you alone, and not in data and precisely recorded procedures, what will your efforts amount to? A few dogs- a few successes-then nothing. Only the briefest flash of light in the darkness."
Page 190, now heavily creased to mark its importance, has repeated itself elsewhere. Different words, different sources but the same message: if you have a talent, an ability, an innate gift you've been given or a skill you have honed, pass your knowledge on. Do not keep it to yourself. Do not be among the few or even the only one to benefit from what you know how to do with aplomb. Share what you do with others. Record, precisely, how you do what you do. Charge a fee or reap a commission or get paid in some manner if that is appropriate. Or share your knowledge on the simple hope that what you have to offer will make a difference to even one other soul and let that be reward enough.
I have been living this message, to some extent, since starting this blog in 2006. I have shared, on and off, encouragement and ideals on how to let go of what holds you back from living a life that is true to you, mostly based on my own trials and tribulations. But now, the message is telling me to expand. I am being asked to consider other skills and offerings I have. I am being asked to reach further, to leave the safety of the shadows and share more of what I know. One suggestion in the relentless message is to share my floral design skills, even just the basics, with an audience much larger than the few I sometimes teach at work. Another suggestion is to compile/write a book. Another is to share more of my intuitive mind for helping people to empower themselves. In other words, hold back less, give more. Do not be a brief flash in the dark, but rather, be the sun.
And if this message hits you square in the heart as it did me, just what do you know and what will you share?