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On Sunny Lane: Everybody's Got Talent

I watched "America's Got Talent" on television last night.

I like to see all of the different kinds of talents that people put on display. I like some of them better than others. And some of the performances could hardly be called talents at all. I wonder how some of them qualified for the show.

It amazes me to see some of the singers who are so shy and nervous come alive, once the music starts, and give a dazzling performance.

Some of the acts are death-defying feats of acrobatics. The judges will caution viewers "not to try this at home." I can attest to that advice, because once, when I was much younger, I "tried this at home." I tried to do a gymnastic stunt on the spur of the moment that gymnasts train for every day. My back hasn't been the same since.

It seems that there is a magician on every episode of the show. And there is usually a knife thrower or a fire eater in the group. It doesn't matter what the act is, the judges are always cheerleaders, spurring the contestants on to do their best. Except for the people who have a really lousy act. Then the judges try to tell them that in the nicest way possible.

I used to watch a program, many years ago, in which the judges were super critical. Sometimes the contestant would tear up at the criticism, even if it was for their own benefit. I wonder what happened to that program. I don't think it lasted very long.

At the end of the AGT season, after several eliminations, the viewers and judges collaborate on selecting a grand prize winner. It makes me wonder how a winner can be chosen out of such a diverse crew. How does a person compare apples and oranges? How do they choose between a contortionist and a ballet dancer?

Yet, every year, they do.

Each person or group must do their own thing; express their own talent; march to the beat of their own drum; be the best that only they can be. It would be boring to watch a talent show that highlighted only singers, or only magicians, or only acrobats.

Each one of us may not have exotic or profound talents that are worthy of public acclaim. However, we all have at least one thing that we do well. Let's all recognize that as our own special gift to share with others and spur them on to use their own gifts.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or send a comment by emailing her at

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