Hi, I’m Leyton. I’m in seventh grade at Y School, a private school, in Taos, New Mexico. I’m a ski racer and I love unicycle and juggle.
“When you first arrived on the earth you came with a package. That package has gifts and challenges. The gifts are the things that come to you easily, the things that are not hard to learn. The challenges are the things that are a struggle, the things that are difficult. And this package stays with you forever. It makes you who you are.”
These words were spoken to me by my third grade teacher, Chris Middlemiss, from Berkeley Montessori. They were the most powerful and meaningful words I had ever heard, and still are until this day. There is one thing that I believe about your bundle that can be altered. I believe you can make a challenge into a gift if you try.
I started unicycling about five years ago. My friend Mimi and I would ride and down the street, clinging onto every car we passed. Soon she improved more and more and would ride almost freely. I got very jealous. I would always get frustrated. I often thought I should give up. But every time I thought that I’d remember “…. the things that are difficult….” I would have to remember that the fact unicycling was difficult for me made me who I was and that I needed to accept it. Then, one day something clicked. I could suddenly unicycle. Now its one of my talents, and I consider it a gift.
There is one specific gift that is crucial to who you are. The gift of using gifts wisely. If your good at math, but you refuse to do it, then you’re wasting a gift. People say I have a knack for helping other people work things out, but I really try to do my best to not get involved. That could be a way of miss-using my gift. Sometimes it’s necessary to take certain precautions and not over use a gift…also known as bragging.
I believe that there are so many ways to interpret gifts and challenges. But I believe that everybody comes with his or her own skill set.
That everybody has a special way of using what they’ve got.
That everyone is an individual.
That every single bundle is unique and different, like a fingerprint.
And as E.E. Cummings said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight, and never stop fighting.”
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