Blue Highways Journey – Episode 29 – Discoverers

Claire Jennings was looking forward to her third blue highways journey. This journey was to be to one of America’s poorest areas. She felt that she needed to understand the struggles of those who were living in poverty and facing racial and economic injustice.

The trip had gone as Claire had expected until one day, when talking with a local farmer she saw a plane heading toward her out of the sky. She was about to run when the farmer said to her: “Don’t fear, that’s just Stevie Wilson coming home to write.” The plane landed in a nearby hayfield.

Claire was shocked. Stevie Wilson was one of the most popular best-selling authors in America. His adventure/suspense novels sold millions, and he was a prolific author so he had to be worth a fortune. While Claire had never read any of his books, she wanted to talk with him. What she didn’t realize and never knew was that he was her favorite author. He also wrote stories of hope under a pen name and swore that his publisher never reveal his true identity. These stories of hope earned much more than the stories he was known for.

The conversation was going well, but Claire had hoped to explore more of Wilson’s thoughts about his heritage. That’s when the conversation got interesting.

“I owe everything to Eva Mae Brown, my high school English teacher. She helped me discover a talent I never knew I had. I would never be the person I am today if she had not encouraged me to write. That’s why I have devoted much of my book royalties to talent discovery and fulfillment.” 

What do you mean? asked Claire.

“I have a relationship with the teachers throughout this part of the country to let me know when they have a student with a special talent.” 

And then what do you do? 

“I become their talent facilitator. I help them fulfill the talent they have. This can take many different forms. For most, it’s paying for college. I also help them connect with mentor who will help them with their talent. The only thing I ask of them is that they pay back my support by helping another young person discover and fulfill their talent.” 

Can you give me an example? 

“Peyton Womack is one of the nation’s preeminent cardiovascular surgeons. She grew up just a few miles from here in a family that was dirt poor. Her science teacher discovered her hidden talent, and I’m proud that I helped her fulfill that talent.” 

And did she make good on her promise to you? 

“I’ll let her use my place to fly here once a month to do surgeries. This region has a high rate of cardiovascular problems, and Dr. Womack donates her talent to those in need.” 

Claire finished her interview by commenting on Stevie’s genuine support for others. “I never knew this about you. Why isn’t this part of the author’s bio on your books?

“I’ve never wanted people to get a false impression. I’m not like a number of billionaires who have to massage their egos by claiming good works. I’d rather use my wealth to lift up the lives of others and not my own.”

As Claire thought about her interview, the concept of being a discoverer took on a new meaning for her. Until this moment, she thought of discoverers as those associated with science and associated fields. This was the first time that she realized that discovery can be about revealing hidden talents.

* * *

“Those who discover and fulfill their own talent need to help others through their own discovery of their talents.”
– Anonymous

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