The Hidden Pain of One Man’s Talent

The Hidden Pain of One Man’s Talent


The Hidden Pain of One Man’s Talent

Many years ago I knew a man who had an incredible talent.  He knew the words to almost every song that ever came on the radio, especially 80’s music.  And it didn’t matter the genre!  Rap, pop, country, rock.  He could sing the words as if he wrote the songs.

One day we were having lunch and I was explaining to him how I admired his talent for remembering so many lyrics to so many songs.  When I asked him how he knew so many he began to talk to me about his childhood and I quickly realized there was a lot of pain behind his talent.

Come to find out the reason he knew so many songs was because the radio was his only friend growing up.  When other kids were outside playing he wasn’t, he was listening to the radio.  He didn’t have friends and got picked on a lot so he learned to avoid people and listen to songs.  I guess in a way music became his escape.

I had forgotten about this guy until this past week when for some reason his story popped in my mind.

There are times when we look at someone and we envy some aspect of their life.  We admire talents from the outside, but we often forget about the sacrifice behind the talent.  Sometimes talents are the facade covering up pain.  And it isn’t until we have a deeper look that we realize we should be slow to envy.

I have had coworkers say they wished they were as organized as I am, but I wouldn’t wish my curse on anyone.  My obsessive compulsion creates more stress inside my body than I would wish on my enemy.

I think the best practice is to be the best version of ourselves that we can be and keep our envy at a minimum.

Just a quick thought for a Monday.



34 thoughts on “The Hidden Pain of One Man’s Talent

  1. I’ve had people tell me they would like to be like me/ have my life/ etc. But like you said – we don’t know the full story behind someone’s existence. Work on yourself, instead of coveting anything that isn’t yours.

    1. Man, true words! It is easy to look in from the outside. I once heard a preacher say “the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare everyone else’s highlight reel to our behind-the-scenes.”

  2. Yes, it’s easy to be green with envy, because people just see the facade, they want to see the facade. More complex aspects of others often escape people; they either don’t have the intellect to see more.. or they just don’t care, they prefer their perceptual bubble.

  3. Thank you for sharing this story, Danny! This is something I strongly believe in. Envy is one of the most toxic feelings one can harvest. I work hard on not envying others, and it really irritates me when people envy me. If we could all just happy for others talents and successes, and work hard for our own, the world would be a much better place. I don’t understand people who do things to make others jealous… It is beyond me.

  4. Envy is a poison for the soul. It can make everything that is good in your life seem jaded and poor. No one has a perfect life and when we remember and believe that it helps to not be envious of what someone else has. If I walked a mile in their shoes……

  5. What a great post; I can relate to this man. I remember songs; the lyrics; melodies; history of the band; I even imitate when no one else is around. And for me it is also an escape; music was my refuge as kid because i was bullied mercilessly. So people admire my knack for memorizing; it comes with a lot of painful memories. Thank for sharing this with us! 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: