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  • Writer's pictureMofoluke Ayoola

Reflections of the parable of the talent & HBR on emotional intelligence; What's in your hands?

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

I have read this part of the bible severally. One day after reading Havard Business Review on Emotional Intelligence; Confidence, I got a new perspective on the parable about talents. For reference, read; Matthew 25; 14- 30. The man with servants chooses to share talents (also known as bags of gold in some versions). He shared, however, not equally but according to everyone's ability. I will like to see these talents as resources in our lives today. The Cambridge dictionary defines resources as valuable possessions or quality of a country, organisation or person. In the parable, we see the three servants understood the importance of these resources entrusted to them. The first put his portion to work, the second did likewise, and the third had a different perspective; he hid the resources. I perceive he knew these resources were valuable, so he hid them. His mindset is a topic for another day. His master reaps, where he didn't sow, is a faulty understanding of the benefits of resources bestowed on him, leading him to hide his talent. He left them unused, uninvested and didn't yield anything to him and his master. After reading Havard Business Review on Emotional Intelligence; Confidence, and coincidentally this parable about the same time, I got a new perspective on the myth about talents. I replayed this story within my context. I often felt like the weakest in the room, so I kept my opinion. I delete my comment because it seems like an unpopular opinion. I turned down that speaking engagement because I felt unqualified to share. In my case, it is not because I believe God has given me gifts in inadequate measures. But rather, I feel unqualified because I have compared my talents with others in the same space. Yeah, imposter syndrome! I dont know about you, but the feeling of worthlessness comes with comparison. His decision to hide his talent is why some people will not fulfil their purpose. Somebody somewhere reading this believes they have a portion unworthy of being put forward to use. I have been there. We often look around a room; unfortunately, we quickly see the greener grass, or the skills we lack, present in others, and how eloquently someone else spoke. I often said, well, if I were extroverted, I would have attempted this or that.

I have a friend, and we recently started to study the bible together when I asked her opinion. She often said, 'well, I am not that smart, and not the intelligent bible teachers, those with fancy degrees. They would explain it better, so you ask so so person... I think she's one of the most knowledgeable people who has effectively studied the bible. Yet, she wouldn't share because she believes she has one talent while others, the smarter ones, have five. If you are a Christain, you must have come across Paul's conversation with Peter when he said to him. Even in areas where we feel unworthy, these areas are the potential for growth and fruitfulness. I read a book by a Nigerian author, O.O. Kukoyi, where he quoted, 'It takes a void to create a universe ....... Have you considered that the things you lack are God's tool for your abundance?' I will add, dont be afraid to put them forward, whether it is five, two, one or even less. Use what's in your hand right now. The servant with five and two talents doubled theirs, so why not the one with one talent? Imposter syndrome? Lack of confidence? Or fear of failure? I am not sure, but this parable and HBR book has inspired me to change, and I have learned to use the little in my hands. Knowing that, if I don't use it, I'll lose it, and what I put to use is bound to improve, and what I sow will reap multiples. Unfortunately, he lost it all! So remember, use it or lose it. Use what you have, not what you could have. Start where you are, not where you could be. Give what you can, not what you hope could be more. What's in your hands? Put it to use as it is.

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