Your Gift, Your Reward

In an economic system that measures our worth by the response we get from our clients, customers, reviewers and patrons, we often overlook our own creative release. 

Recently, while visiting a home in Central Oregon, I noticed many fine carvings around the house. The work was very well done, showing quality to attention and proportion. I was impressed by the work. The owner did not draw attention to the carvings or even discuss them, and had I not gone into his shop and later seen his current carving projects, I would have never known that he made them. Later, what astonished me even more than the carvings was his humbleness about the work. He did not seek any attention, review or sales for his talents. It was clearly done for himself.

Again, in my role as a Superintendent, I was talking to a parent about an after-school art class taking place. The parent was thrilled with the class, but posed a concern to me. She stated that she asked her daughter what she thought of the class and the young girl paused and told her mother, “I like the class, but I didn’t try my hardest.” This perplexed the mother, as her daughter is a talented and creative young artist. She looked at me and asked what may be going on. After some probing questions, I was able to confidently tell this mother, “Not to worry. Your daughter does art for herself, not for a teacher or for praise. It is for her.” The parent agreed and left with a new perspective on her daughter and her talents. 

When we deal with sales and services, we need to mold to meet the demands of our market. I am pleased to see, though, that intrinsic motivation and creative release still exists in this extrinsically motivated world. Your gift can also be your reward.


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