As Glenn continued to play songs and tell stories, he also talked about watching your kids tomorrow. We can learn from them – all of the things they do (create, explore, question) are things we can do as well. God has given each of us a unique talent – we are not all equal and all the same, and it’s all part of a meaningful and beautiful design.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be able to empower people and ignite their imagination. And too long I listened to people who said, ‘You know, if I were you, I would…’ fill in the blank. ‘If I were in your shoes, I would…’ “You know what you really need to do…” and I listened to them instead of saying, ‘But I’m not you. Your shoes don’t fit me.’ I have no idea what you need to do. I am me. My shoes fit fine. And I finally know what I need.
Being an individual is what it’s really all about. Because when individuals choose to come together, they can create a symphony. Next week here in Dallas we have a symphony orchestra, all volunteer, and a 200-voice choir that I guarantee you within two years will be a thousand voices that are putting together a Christmas concert like you will not believe. Each one has spent time as an individual and then as an individual came and decided to play as a group. But each of them retained their — who they are themselves, their authentic self. I don’t know if you’re your authentic self. Hopefully you are most of the time. Maybe, maybe not. But I bet you felt glimpses of it. And if you have, it might have scared you.
Do you remember those moments when you felt most of — most alive, when everything just seemed to flow? Remember that feeling when you had the wind at your back? Go there. Remember that. Focus on that. Because that’s who you really are.
We see it in our children. We see it in their questioning of why. We see it in their laughter. We see it in their smiles. We see it in their eyes. Not just being in the moment but creating the moment. Watch your kids around Thanksgiving. Watch the kids’ table, the little kids. Watch them as they are free to create the moment, creating it through play, through adventure, through questioning absolutely everything. Come to me as a child. That’s what it means. Question everything. Explore. Create. Each of us are here with a God-given talent. I don’t know what your is. I barely know what mine is. But we’re also given God-given rights and God-given life, and each of us are so different.
How could I possibly know what you need? I don’t see the world as you see it. We each see it in a unique way through the prism of our own lives. Why is it that you like broccoli and I hate it? Why is it that you can fix a leaky roof and all I can do is barely put buckets around the ceiling? Why is it you like summer and I like fall? Because God gave us each unique fingerprints, each of us different. There were things that we can enjoy together. There are things we can do together, things we can accomplish and many ways to do it. But it only really all comes together and only really works when we are — each of us our authentic self and each of us bring our unique talents and share them as individually, individuals coming together, individually choosing to play in the collective for just a little while.
Some might want to put you in groups, ‘You’re the French. So you can bake the bread, I guess. You’re British, so you can make tweed clothing. You’re German. You make this sausage.’ Well, Italians make clothing, don’t they? I know the British can — well, they can make pudding, but I think they put blood in it. I’m not really quite sure. Frenchmen surely can make sausage.
Don’t put yourself into a stereotype. Don’t allow somebody to do that because that’s not you. That’s not who you are. And it is that simple. When you go home this Thanksgiving, make sure you realize that you are part of a family, but each of you are unique. Each of you are different. Each of you have different beliefs.
Being an individual doesn’t mean being without others. Individuality means being who you really are amongst others. Individuality, it feeds the mind, it feeds the heart, it feeds the soul. When you are truly strong, vibrant, and a free individual, you’re at your best, you’re most alive, and you’re living as God intended. And remember this when you sit down at that table: You’re not supposed to make everybody happy. As the one who was the clown in the family trying to get that alcoholic family just to laugh for a few minutes, your job is to be happy yourself and encourage and empower others to do the same. But they have to find it on their own. It’s not only best that way. It’s the only way.
It’s not your job to rescue others from disappointment or bitterness. Difficult times builds character and self-esteem. How dare you try to steal that from them. Nobody can make you happy or sad. Nobody can make you mad or glad. They need your permission. You can’t do it for them without their permission. So go home and do your best, your absolute best and leave it on the field. Don’t pay attention to criticism or praise because you really don’t need either. Because you’re doing the best you possibly can.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and today I’m thankful that you are you.