New Castle News

News Bloggers

March 25, 2013

Lisa Madras: What’s your special gift? Share it, don’t hide it!

NEW CASTLE — What makes you so special?

It cracks me up to hear this question, because when it's generally asked, there's more than a bit of snark involved.

"What makes YOU so special?" is the childish chant of many an offended person to the individual getting some sort of perceived privilege. What makes me chuckle about it is the response I've used (if only inside my head) since I first heard this query in the second grade: "Well, I'm smarter than you, for starters."

Yeah, I know I'm gonna get a lot of poo-poo from everyone I know about saying that, but I said it nonetheless. I'm smart. So there. Not Van Gogh cut-your-own-ear-off insane smart or anything. Smart enough to be tortured, but not smart enough to do anything about it. Let's say, just a little smarter than the average bear.

I became good at hiding this fact very early on in life because I immediately got a cold dose of "nobody likes a smarty pants" the very first time I used a word that my peers hadn't heard before. After several more attempts at winning friends and influencing people with my intellect, I realized that even if Dale Carnegie was OK with sitting alone on the school bus, I really wasn't.

Flash forward to adulthood, and the commonly-used phrase became, "It's INTIMIDATING dating a smart woman." Seriously, dude? I can do your taxes and change the oil in your car and you find that to be UNappealing? OK, whatever. Go away, brain, you're not welcome here.

Now admit it: you're thinking about how arrogant I am. I know it's not nice to brag, but that wasn't my point. What I'm trying to say is that there's something special about all of us. Maybe you have a beautiful singing voice. Maybe you're a star athlete. Perhaps your gift is communicating with aliens.

No matter what it is, you'll have people that dislike you for it. The thing is, that's their problem — don't let them make it yours. As the saying goes: Not your circus.  Not your monkeys.

It never ceases to amaze me that when you find out someone has a special talent, and you ask them to show you, their response is so often, "Aw, no. It's embarrassing." Where did that embarrassment come from?

Ah, yes, from the finger-pointing critics of the schoolyard playground. Please don't listen to the haters, people. The world isn't a playground. It's a stage. YOUR stage.

So rock it, rock star.

And the next time someone asks you what makes you so special — yep, go ahead and tell them.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Question-mark-scratch-head.jpg Tim Kolodziej: We’re swimming in information — and uncertainty

    “Who can you believe anymore?” I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me that question. Let’s face it, there are no longer two sides to every story. In some cases, there are hundreds, if not thousands.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy_Ending.jpg Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’

    After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye.  I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results