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Expect...


There's a funny thing that happens when you're a known knitter. I know that mechanics and photographers, among other professions, experience this as well: people expect to benefit from your skill, for free (or at least at a greatly reduced cost). It's my favorite backhanded compliment. Wow! That looks amazing! You're so talented! Will you make me a [generally complicated, time-consuming, and/or expensive item]?

We've been conditioned to expect things to be handed to us freely. I give you money or praise, you give me Thing. But that's not how it should be. What if we all recognized the abilities that we each have, instead of dismissing our own talents as worthless, and also extended a greater level of appreciation to other people's? I think that both of those are important factors. Because if I don't see the value in what I can do, how can I value someone else's work? If I'm constantly putting down my own abilities - oh, it was nothing, really - then I will unconsciously do the same to others.

I find that I'm most attuned to beauty in others when I am most secure in my own - and the same applies to my particular art. When I can recognize the practice and talent that goes into my skill set, I am also more attuned to it in others. Gratitude and appreciation wash away entitlement when I realize that while I may not be able to paint or cook or any number of other things that I'm interested but not proficient in, I do have something of value to offer in exchange.

Really, we all do. That thing you may consider weird is the more valuable in its uniqueness - and that skill which comes so naturally that you consider it commonplace may not be so common as you think.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday!

Comments

Elizabeth said…
Visiting from Five Minute Friday.
blestbutstrest said…
Beautiful knitting samples! I totally get what you mean. Often times someone at school will ask me to photograph a school event...I'm an expert BIRD photographer--I always warn people that birds and bees and bears are my preferred subjects ;). And all too often people assume that they can use my photos for free--or even without giving credit to me as the photographer. Sigh. This has caused me to appreciate the artistic work of others much more than I used to. Those lessons aren't always easy to learn, but they sure make us better people once we learn them!

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