I’m currently coaching some friends through their StrengthsFinder® talent themes.  It’s fun and interesting to learn about how others see themselves, watching those ah-hah moments take place as someone gains a bit more perspective toward their own self-awareness – something of which few people actually possess.

Today during one of my coaching sessions, I was reminded of something I heard a few weeks ago while at a training seminar concerning our pursuit of becoming the “well-rounded” person.  It seems whenever I come across someone who seems to have talent after talent after talent, I find myself quite intimidated, and perhaps even frustrated with myself that I haven’t been able to learn as much, acquire as many skills, retain as much knowledge as the other person.

So what do we do when we find ourselves trying to measure up to the next person?  We try to learn more stuff so that we can become well-rounded.

Here’s what I think being well-rounded really means for most of us…it means that I want to be independent, that I don’t want to depend on anyone, need anyone.  I want to have it all together (or at least perceived that way).  The total-package.  A real man or real woman.  Well-rounded.

Here’s what I think being well-rounded equates to…shallowness, loneliness, emptiness.

I love how Curt Liesveld of Gallup put this a few weeks ago.  When you visualize well-rounded, you might think of it as a circle.  When it comes to the individual, the contents is what you end up getting.  A big “zero.”  Empty.  Shallow.

To think of being well-rounded in terms of community seems to make more sense to me.  I’ve got talents.  You’ve got talents.  I’ve also got weaknesses, and you’ve got weaknesses.  Therefore, our goal is essentially not to become well-rounded individuals; instead, our goal is to become a well-rounded community – a group of people who are depending on one another out of their strengths and weaknesses.  A group of people who look to one-another (out of their own self-awareness) with appreciation for what the other has to offer.  A network of relationships where “I need you” is a predominant part of the language.

Our goal at Awaken, my goal in relationship with each of you is for us together to become well-rounded – not as individuals, but as a community.  And as we do so, we recognize the wholeness Jesus brings to each of us through His Body, the Church.

2 Replies to “well-rounded…”

  1. I read your blog yesterday and received this story via email later in the afternoon. As soon as I read it, I immediately thought of your blog.

    “An woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

    One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water..

    At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

    For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
    Of course , the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

    But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

    After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream ‘I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’ The old woman smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? ‘

    ‘That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.’

    ‘For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.

    Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’

    Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

    You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.”

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