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Everyone Gets a Seat

This magnificent conference center has seats for 22,000 people. Life has seats for everyone who wants one. If I get one, it doesn’t mean you don’t. There’s plenty for everyone.

I was chatting with a young professional woman and we got on the subject of my son, Harry,  who recently graduated and has begun his search for the perfect job (in social media). She mentioned a website called Canva.com and recommended that he check it out – they offer free templates to assist in creating a beautiful resume.

He loved it! He said there were so many great designs, he had trouble choosing just one. The next time I saw the young professional, I thanked her for letting me know about Canva – my son loved it! She admitted she didn’t tell too many people – especially not in her industry. She wanted to keep it her little secret because she didn’t want more people to be able to create a nice resume. She believed keeping it a secret would give her an edge.

I told her there’s plenty for everyone. She agreed and then reiterated that she prefers not to tell people.

I was reading Dear Miss Manners (I love Judith Martin – do you ever read her column?) and the question came from a woman who, through much trial and error, created a delicious cake recipe. It became her signature and she would bake this cake for all the events she attended (requiring a baked good). People started requesting the recipe. How, she asked, could she politely decline these requests? After all, she had created the recipe and she didn’t want anyone in these same social circles showing up for the same event, carrying her cake.

She advised the woman to be coy about it. “Sorry, but that’s my secret lure. I’d hate to have you able to make it for yourself, because then you’d not be as eager to come to see me.” While her answer is polite, it lacks the understanding that there’s plenty for everyone.

Based on the feedback I receive, I’m a pretty good baker. I am happy to share my recipes (flattered, actually). It never even occurred to me that I would show up at the same event with the same recipe as anyone else.

Many times after sharing a recipe, the baker tells me her cookies don’t taste as good as mine. My reaction is to start questioning the brand of butter she used, the type of vanilla, etc. Eventually I realize there’s not really a question there, simply a lament that her cookies aren’t as good as mine.

Obviously there are one thousand reasons why that could be true, but I’m satisfied knowing I provided full disclosure. The recipe I share is the exact recipe I use.

Sharing useful, joyful, tasty information enables us all to live in a more abundant world.

Do you keep something secret that you know would help others? Why or why not?
I’d love to know below!

4 Comments

  • dawn vanamberg September 12, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Excellent thoughts Mair. I’ve always been one to share ideas, especially if they help others, plus like you, share receipes, thoughts etc, so othees can have the same advantage. Just recently though, I shared a document I created with others only to have another tweak it and take credit who was given high praise. I was a bit irked and hurt, but truth be told, I did put it out there freely to help others, not garnish heaped on praise. My goal was to help lots of others, and ultimately it did even though it was pirated by another. Isn’t that what happens all the time, unfortunately yes. If you know the TRUTH, it will set you free, in this case from the pain of someone else receiving what i deserved. My joy returned knowing many in the end were helped. Ask.yourself is it worth the risk , then proceed forward if you can handle the results.

    Reply

  • Mair Hill September 12, 2017 at 7:53 am

    That truly is a bummer when someone else takes credit for your work – especially when it’s a physical thing like a document. I admire you for “letting” her have the praise. You know it belongs to you – and in the end, you’re the bigger person because it was generosity that put it out there in the first place. Your desire to help others took precedent over the accolades.
    If this were something that happens over and over, I would absolutely take that person aside and say “this is not okay” so she knows you know. Doesn’t mean she’ll stop, only that you are honoring yourself by speaking up.

    Reply

  • Monica September 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I love to share what I learn, thus I’m a teacher!

    At times I struggle with. seeing a person for who they really are not what I want them to be. Some hard knocks have made me stop some of what I would instinctively share creatively…
    However
    The generosity of my people ( people that I surround myself with), helps me to become a more content and peaceful teacher, wife and mother. I enjoy learning from the stories and life lessons they share with me.
    I am grateful foe the opportunity to share every week in my classes.

    Reply

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