I’ve been given a gift. Indeed, all of us have. You too!
A gift has two main characteristics: it’s wrapped and it has a giver.
The beauty of a gift is that it doesn’t become visible until you unwrap it. At first it’s hidden. Covered. Often the gift doesn’t even look nice from the outside. It may be in a crappy parcel paper, or it may be broken. It may even not be what you wished for. But still, it’s a gift. And it’s up to you to unwrap it and make it useful.
My gift doesn’t come in form of convenience. My gift is definitely not something that I planned for, not even wished for. My gift has not been predictable, and to many people this may even be seen as a misery rather than a gift.
But this was given to me. Hence, it’s a gift.
I’ve for long tried to understand my endless passion for people and their stories. I’ve told myself many stories about my “why” (because reality is nothing but a story that you tell yourself, and choose to believe). I tried to find where my gift actually came from. But no-one raised their hand. No-one claimed to be a giver.
I’ve gone a long way to try to understand where this gift comes from. Because to be able to understand the gift you often must understand the giver and why he has given you that gift. I had my ideas about where it comes from, but that person didn’t acknowledge it. And because I can’t ask him straight forward, I’ve gone some sideways. I’ve talked to hundreds of people trying to understand why they do what they do in an attempt to understand my giver. I’ve talked to hundreds of other people to be able to wholeheartedly understand why he gave me that gift.
During the time I’ve talked to those hundreds of people I’ve come to realize that most of us have received a similar gift from someone. Some people choose to see it as I do, as a gift, and some people choose to see it as a poison. Both choices define the person.
The people who choose to see it as a gift, they unwrap it and use it to make a difference.
The people who choose to see it as a poison (is it a consequence that the word gift means poison in Swedish?), they die (both literally and metaphorically), even hurt other people in their fall.
The latest months I’ve been interviewing Changemakers for my M.Sc thesis. I’m seeing a strong trend that their why, the reason why they do what they do, is coming from a gift.
What I’ve learned during the latest years when having had those hundreds conversations with a greatly diverse group of people is: everyone can be a Changemaker.
It’s not about the chosen few. It’s about the few who choose to unwrap their gift.
I’ve decided to use my gift and everything it has brought me during my lifetime. I’ve decided to use my gift to do what I can to change things.
That’s why I’m starting Human Divercity. To embrace human diversity and allowing people to be acknowledge for who they really are based on the only thing that should define us: our values and our choices.
After all we are just people, just trying to do our best.
p.s. My gift was to be neglected by a family member. Yours?