A Conversation About Gifts
Gifts as defined by John McKnight in terms of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) can be anything that we like, are at good at, or are passionate or care about. If you think about it for a minute, almost anything could be a gift. I really like the Cincinnati Bengals football team. I know a lot about coaching soccer, although I might not be a very good coach. I may just like it a lot. It could still be my gift. I enjoy running and I may really care about urban gardening, bicycling, recycling, public schools, and a multitude of other things. All could be gifts of mine. We ALL must have many, many gifts that make up who we are. What are your gifts? John describes gifts of the head(things we know about), heart(things we care about) and hands(physical things we can do). How would you describe yours? I seem to have some of each.
But with gifts, you have to give them, otherwise it’s kind of like a present, that gets bought and wrapped but never given. Gifts really need to be given. We must somehow share our gifts with others. There are no rules about this but this whole idea of “giftedness” requires connectivity. I really enjoy running. A friend recently invited me to join a running club he was part of. I joined and met many others who share my passion for running. I also learned about other gifts they have
My friend Matt had just moved to Cincinnati and I learned he really cared about baseball. He loves following major league teams and loves to play softball. We were exploring his neighborhood and saw a group getting ready to play baseball and went over to find out what was going on. We learned it was a semi pro team of college age players that play together during summer months. Everyone there were all too willing to talk to us about the team and their gift of baseball.
The players on this team directed us to a guy Max who really loves baseball. Max is 65 years old and has been in baseball almost his entire life. Max is a coach/groundskeeper/ administrative assistant to the team. Matt and Max hit it off right away and spent much of the summer together sharing their passion for baseball. They had a great time. And it all stemmed from a conversation about a passion for baseball.
Gifts help build connectivity.
People love to talk about their gifts.
Try it out. Go someplace and start a conversation with someone and see if you can uncover what gifts the person has.
What are some questions you would ask to get this kind of conversation going?