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Don’t Hide Your Own Gift

I’ll start my inaugural contribution for 2022 by giving a big thank you to the amazing people who work behind the scenes at BizCat 360°. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity, and for certain members welcome back! We missed you.

The umbrella under which I intend to write is Mandate to Elevate. It’s more than a tagline or a sticky catchphrase. It’s a way of life for me, and for my wife as well. In our professional lives, we elevated people. She did it as an RN, elevating patients up from their medical challenges so they could recapture their lives; I elevated people quite literally, by flying them to the care and comfort they needed. Elevation is more than what we did; elevation was and is who we are.

We’re not looking for thanks, far from it. There are aspects of what we did and are doing now that are quite difficult. It’s often a lot easier to ignore the good, and to allow the bad to infect our daily lives, especially now. We feel we’re just doing what we should, continuing what we know best. No one would praise us for being adults, or average height, or Cubs fans. Part of what drives us to elevate others is gratitude for all we’ve been given, and the luxury of being able to share our incredible gifts.

Some readers of this piece may recall that we’re about to publish a book. With any luck, and if the creek don’t rise, Journey Well, You Are More Than Enough will be available very soon. A theme of Journey Well is the mandate to share our gifts, our abilities, insights, the capacities every one of us has.

We wrote Journey Well to elevate others as well. We know there are countless people convinced, as we are, that there’s a brighter, more generous, more loving world waiting to be born. Our readers are people who know in their hearts that this is so. If they need affirmation that their sense of better times ahead is legitimate, and not just vaporous wishful thinking, we’re happy to offer it, because we believe it, too.

The picture shows a jigsaw puzzle we’re in the middle of assembling as I write this. In the depths of an Iowa winter, such puzzles provide an indoor diversion when a walk to the mailbox is an Arctic expedition requiring several layers, mukluks, and a scarf. Each piece in the puzzle is vital to make the full, rich picture emerge. One missing piece draws everyone’s attention, and diminishes the picture.

In Journey Well, we focus on gifts. We all have a unique gift, and when we open it, and share it with others, the world gets a bit better, and the picture moves closer to completion. Every gift opened is a piece designed to fill a specific gap in the beautiful puzzle that is our world. Too many people refuse to share their gift, or believe it’s inadequate, or lack the courage to offer it. We hope Journey Well appeals to those who need affirmation that their gift is needed. One of life’s tragedies is to take one’s gift to the grave. There’s too much-buried treasure as it is. We need to hear from everyone.

So we’re honored and humbled to have the mandate to elevate all who need it. Thanks for reading, open your gift, share it with us, and journey well. And hitch up your mukluks while you’re at it.

Byron Edgington
Byron Edgingtonhttps://www.byronedgington.com/
Byron Edgington was a commercial & military helicopter pilot for 50 years. An award-winning writer, he is the author of several books including The Sky Behind Me: a Memoir of Flying and Life, A Vietnam Anthem: What the War Gave Me, Waiting for Willie Pete, a Novel of Vietnam, and PostFlight: An Old Pilot’s Logbook. Edgington served in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot, including a yearlong tour in Vietnam. After the war, he became a commercial pilot, and flew all over the world, including 20 years of air medical flying in Iowa, news & traffic flying in several U.S. cities, a stint as a corporate helicopter pilot, and three years flying tours on the island of Kauai. After retiring from aviation in 2005, he returned to college and received his Bachelor's Degree in English and creative writing from The Ohio State University at age 63. In 2012 Edgington won the prestigious Bailey Prize in non-fiction from the Swedenborg Foundation Press for his essay titled ‘Lift Off.’ Byron Edgington is married to his best friend, Mariah. He has three daughters, and five grandchildren. Recently returned to the U.S. after living for three years in Medellin Colombia, he now lives and writes in Iowa City Iowa.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Byron, and what an inspiring article! Writing has become one of my gifts I think and I have begun writing again, working on two books, hoping to get one published this year. I don’t write to get rich, I write to express and give to others thoughts and perspectives that will open their gifts as well. I look forward to reading more!

  2. Welcome “back”, Byron, with this beautiful invitation to share our gifts.

    “Too many people refuse to share their gift, or believe it’s inadequate, or lack the courage to offer it.” I think many people are not aware what their gift is. Because they think everybody can do what comes naturally to them.

    And that is to me exactly what lifting people up is about: letting each know when we see something in the other that is out of the ordinary and also which contexts we appreciate this gift in.

    To reuse your phrase, one of life’s tragedies is for two accountants to get an actor child or two actors to get an accountant child (to use a couple of overused stereotypes) – because these children may reasonably think of their gift as a mistake/inadequacy, not growing up seeing how another context would make it bloom.

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