I believe we are all created to create.
Sixty years ago this year, I was ushered into this world possessing some excellent tools — a pleasant face, good coordination, a discerning ear and a sonorous voice. Along with those physical endowments, I was blessed with loving, supportive parents. Norm and Jean Bishop’s unwavering encouragement imbued me with a sense of entitlement, a notion that I was fated to be rich and famous. Years of piano lessons, teenage rock bands and starring roles in high school plays reinforced my presumed ascendancy to stardom.
Emerging from my suburban cocoon, fluttering eagerly into the vast skies of the real world, I was welcomed by many opportunities. All too frequently however, I discovered disillusionment. Recording contracts, major tours and film soundtracks failed to deliver the level of recognition and fulfillment I’d convinced myself was my due. Two marriages succumbed to the giddy highs and dreadful lows of my out-of-control music-business carnival ride.
Medicating myself heavily with alcohol, I hardly recognized the depressed, defeated man returning my pained gaze in the mirror. I began to realize that I’d taken my talents for granted. I had been using my gifts for the wrong reasons. For decades, it had been all about my ego — and about keeping the party going. Finally, I understood that I had an obligation to seize responsibility for my uniqueness, by making the most of my innate abilities and sharing my creative inspirations — not for self-aggrandizement, but to make the world a better place.
I was teetering on the precipice of my 40th year by the time I caught a glimpse at the truly awesome potential of my creative self. This epiphany was at once exhilarating and daunting. But I’d seen my truth, and there was no turning back.
The truth I saw was this: our Creator sets out to create more creators. We are, after all, designed in God’s image. And, it is only by being truly accountable for developing our native gifts that we acknowledge, praise and pay tribute to our own existence and the fleeting lifetime each of us is granted.
One doesn’t have to master a musical instrument, command a paintbrush, win an Oscar, fly over hurdles, or otherwise impress and/or enthrall the world. Your gifts may be expressed through kindness or humor; your talent may bloom while cultivating a garden; you may manifest your uniqueness in the form of a healing touch.
Every person is blessed with exceptional capacities that he or she alone can nurture and express. We all make the choice as to how we can best take personal responsibility for those gifts.
I choose to shed the remaining flicker of my brief candle on the path for those who aspire to follow in my many times soiled footsteps. For me, that mission represents how I can most faithfully honor my own intrinsic, heaven-sent talents.
We were all created to create. This I believe.