Yesterday I was invited to go and see my eldest niece perform in the matinée of The Night of a 1000 Stars, an annual showcase of local youths and their talent. Truthfully not all of these kids are very talented, but that is not what shines through. What shines through, what all of these kids have that makes these performances so beautiful to watch is great courage, especially the ones who are not extraordinarily talented. The courage it takes to stand on a stage and vulnerably reveal oneself to hundreds of people should never be overlooked because of a lackluster performance, especially with children. It is perhaps one of the great faults of human nature to be so critical. Of course a critical mind has its place and has its value in the field of art and entertainment, but perhaps has been overvalued in the world of children's talent.
While some of the performances I watched yesterday did truly leave me breathless the ones that left me in tears were the ones that were about more than the skill with which they were executed. I marveled at the reality that though an adult might be quick to criticize the lackluster performance of one of the kids on stage they would be far less likely to get up there and give a shot at singing their favorite song themselves. I know it would make me feel nervous and afraid and I am no stranger to the limelight. What a wonderful reminder the whole experience was to just get out of our ideas of limitations and do something because it might be fun or because we want to, not because what other people will think of us. Like a 1000 million stars in the sky each of us shines our own special and beautiful light, and it shines brighter when we let the veils of fear drop away and we just shine for fun. In essence that is when we begin to truly live.
Like the great gospel song encourages "let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!"
With Love, Always, in All Ways, For Giving,