Recently, I was hanging out with my dad and watching “O. Henry’s Full House,” an adaptation of five of the author’s short stories. But one of those five stood out to me.
In “The Last Leaf,” a young woman suffering from pneumonia and without the will to live relates her last days to the leaves falling off a dying vine just outside of her window. As an icy winter storm persists, the leaves blow off the vine and she resigns herself to believing once they’re all gone, so too, will she be.
Her neighbor, an old and unsuccessful painter depressed by his inability to create a masterpiece, witnesses her declining health and delusion. On the morning after the storm, the woman awakens to see one brave little leaf still holding on, which revives her spirit and she decides she must live on. It is only after this that we discover the surviving leaf is a painting on the brick wall by none other than the neighbor who himself succumbed to pneumonia as a result of this sacrificial act. He used his gift to inspire hope.
Now, despite how unsure of your talents you may be, go out there and use them.
If you’re an artist, get out and make art.
If you’re a musician, get to playing.
If you’re methodical genius, show someone the process.
If you’re a problem solver, offer a solution.
If you’re just a damn good listener, lend an ear to someone in need.
Whatever it is you’re good at, do it unabashedly, because you never know what it may mean to another.