What is a Gift?

One might think that the answer to the question “What is a gift” is quite easy to answer. One definition of a gift is a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present. However, if you take a closer look at the meaning of gift it can go much deeper than a tangible present given to someone. This brings me to the other definition of a gift which is a notable capacity, talent, or endowment. This definition of a gift, in my opinion, is the most important.

Gifts come in many forms, tangible or intangible. Presents are tangible. Presents come from other people and could be a bike, a piece of candy, ring, money, etc. As humans, we all enjoy getting a nice present for a special occasion. We are especially excited when a present is given as a surprise or no occasion at all. The intangible presents are the gifts that come from what has been planted inside us as a person.

As I continue to educate myself about children with special needs, including children with autism, I find that many times the gifts that they have are much more rewarding for them and their families than presents. Many times these gifts take them by surprise. During the challenges of caring for a child with special needs, their caregivers and parents begin to see the seed of the gift start to sprout. The gifts and talents of children with autism come in many forms. These gifts range from having outstanding organizational skills, extraordinary mathematical skills, having an abundance of creative art skills, dance, theatrical, and much more. The list is too long to name them all. Each child brings a gift to the world.

I would like to end by giving something for you to think about. When we look at someone we are not able to immediately know what the gift is that they have to offer to this world. We don’t know if a person's gift will bring us knowledge, entertainment, or a better way of living our lives. One almost certain thing, is that everyone has a gift. Everyone has the capability of making this world a better place. It is up to us as a human race to become more focused on children's gifts they offer the world and help them reach their full potential and to become less focused on presents that will lose its value with time. Gifts never lose value, they give value to the world.

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