The Unique Ability

Yesterday I watched a film I’ve always enjoyed. “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon, Robin Williams and a host of other good actors.I’m sure you’ve seen the film already so I won’t  labour over a description but the reason I mention it  is this.

One man, in a position to do so, sees another man and, for reasons of his own, moves heaven and earth to free him from his demons and release the potential he sees within . I am always moved by the sense of unfulfilled potential within us all and the way we thrash and writhe against constraints and limitations imposed by life and ourselves to express it.  As they say, it may be the journey is the point of it all and not the destination. In real life many people are caring, but are too busy trying to pick themselves up , let alone help others to make sense of themselves. In most cases, “Will” would have succeded in keeping the world at bay with his cutting repartee, at least until he was a lot older. Given that, for one man having the time and completeness to focus so thoroughly on another, as they do in the film, is almost unimaginable.

My childhood was bleak and largely loveless. Sadly this does not make me unique or especially unusual. In fact a little reading tells me that my experience is neither unusual or extraordinary. It is painful to me but you can’t win them all.  There is a women, Barbara, whose story I have been reading recently, whose childhood difficulties together with the character she showed during them made me gasp with horror and admiration at the same time. Compared to her beginnings mine was a walk in the park. Unlike the image posed in mainstream cinema, for many of us, it takes a lifetime to get over your childhood.

I have never met this women, and almost certainly never will but her story shows the unforgettable tale so many have within us if only we can find out what it is. How she picked herself up and made something of herself after that start is beyond me. I have seen so much talent, insight and quality in those around me that sometimes I wonder where to put it all. The sadness is that we waste a lot of time speaking “brochure speak”. Being what the world expects: fueled by fear. More often than not we can dress to hide our unease and to be noticed for what we are not rather than what we are. We use our abilities as part of the costume rather than to celebrate the spring of potential waiting to flower within us. By helping each other we sometimes gain the courage to help ourselves.

History is marked as much by emotions as events. In the face of these we can express either anger or acceptance. What happened to me: I met a girl and she made me feel safe. Gave me the chance to look around and see what I had got. Feeling safer, I gained the courage to examine myself and see the world afresh: to face the traumas of my youth and begin to move on from them. Given my beginnings I have always been moved by the happiness of others and signs that they have escaped their self-imposed concentration camp of limitations . Now I am beginning to do this for myself.Why tell the whole world about it.  Because at this point the world is all we have.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in bullying, character, childhood, creative writing, Life, life2, Relationships, Talent and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Unique Ability

  1. Great post and conclusions. It takes courage to speak.


  2. Myra's voice. says:

    This was my first WP read for today and I m so glad. You go lion!

    Thank you for sharing “)


  3. barbara says:

    Wow Peter. I, too, met someone who made me feel safe and secure. It took a lot for me to trust someone but if you don’t what have you got? The struggle is what keeps us moving forward… searching for something better. Now 43 years later we are still together and it hasn’t been easy. I like to say we’ve had 5 years of wedded bliss, not necessarily consecutive.;)

    No matter how bad your life may be you can always find others who have it much worse. Just look around…watch the news…read the newspapers and magazines. It’s easier to play the victim than to try and find the light at the end of the tunnel. I always knew there was a better life and that’s what drove me. I’m glad you found yours too.

    And I think there’s a good chance we might meet someday.


  4. Caroline says:

    Thank you for this. So thoughtful. And yes the world is all we’ve got.


  5. says:

    Dear Ducky, you write, ‘In real life many people are caring, but are too busy trying to pick themselves up let alone help others to make sense of themselves.’ I agree with you on one level yet at the same time I’m finding that the only way for me to pick myself up and make any sense of anything is by throwing myself completely at the mercy of God and trying to help people around me. It’s in giving that I feel.



  6. Your stories always leave a smile on my face. And feeling safe sometimes makes all the difference


  7. What a powerful piece of writing! I had a very traumatic and scarring teenagehood, but a wonderful and supportive family throughout my childhood – I had exactly the sort of loving support from my parents that I delight in passing on to my children, though many that I love did not have these things. Hearing stories of how much less rosy other people’s early years were, and how many more demons they have had to face because of it, reminds me of many things: firstly, it makes me hugely appreciative of what I had and have; secondly, it makes me sad and sorrowful, as the pain of others always does; thirdly, it reinforces my determination to continue to be loving and supportive towards my wonderful children; lastly, it reminds me that all have shadows to overcome, even if some seem darker in comparison to others. It is gratifying to see and hear of how these odds have been overcome, often by love and subsequent trust – but I hope we can find it in our hearts to try and make the time and space to support others to this goal, even if in smaller ways then shown in the film. We CAN all make a difference, to one or two, or three others – and we should all aspire to.


  8. Judith says:

    Hi Peter. Yet another good, thought provoking post. I was in the very lucky minority (I think) who had a good supportive childhood and teenage years. No traumas or dramas so yes I was very lucky. I hope that my children look back on their childhood as a good time.

    I have seen and know of many others who did not have the great start that I had, and I rejoice with them at the obstacles they have overcome to be where they are now. So many of my friends have had awful experiences but have turned into wonderful caring people, as you have.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  9. Shonnie says:


    Besides being lovely … Ducky my dear … when we write down our lovely thoughts we activate our own hearts to believe. We believe our own thoughts more than any other voice. Even thought we usually won’t admit it … just think about your fears. A wise person wrote somewhere: as a man thinks so he is. Now, you have broadcast your thoughts, and written them down making them concrete — things are about to start a changin’. That has created the feeling of excitement in my spirit. 😀


  10. Big Al says:

    We all need a “muse”, so to speak, to give us the courage and the impetus to take wing. Someone to help eliminate the fear with which we seem naturally bound. It’s great that you found that someone. I did too. Here’s to them and us.


  11. nelle says:

    Well said, as always! Sharing our stories is cathartic and sometimes invigorating, with the potential to educate such that others who follow us might be spared our path.


  12. Kirri White says:

    No matter what happens, I insist on believing that some day it’s all going to make sense, come right and work out for the best. Love is both a reminder and propellant for moving us to that place NOW. I’m glad that you are moving beyond…


  13. backonmyown says:

    Hi Ducks. This is a terrific post. Your observations/conclusions about life and overcoming are right on target. I wonder if your are finding that writing and sharing your story is helping you to get a better perspective on your early years. You sound very emotionally healthy in your posts. And hearing you “speak” is encouraging and uplifting for me. Thanks. Keep writing. Pat


  14. Thank you for the beautiful post! Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we all escaped the brochure speak?


  15. Texasjune says:

    You helped me with your words, and didn’t even know it! Right? Thanks, Ducky!


  16. Aurora, HSP says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE If only more people truly understood how ‘small’ the world really is. Well said.


  17. ElizOF says:

    I loved that film too… Might even rent it again now that you reminded me of it… Sharing is caring as the saying goes. 🙂


  18. Lady E says:

    I like that you are finally revealing a little bit more about you and your past…And yes, I gree, the world is all we have.
    Just one remark: You weren’t just lucky to meet this girl who made you feel safe. You chose her, you made the right choices for you, and worked through with them. This takes a lot of courage and character.


  19. “Brochure speak.” Now that is divinely inspired. Wow. So many people put on the public face of “everything is fine and dandy.” But the real stuff of life is what lies beneath the mask. It does take courage to lift off the mask, but the rewards of doing so are enormous.

    A truly inspiring piece, Peter.


  20. Hi Ducky,
    Thanks so much for liking my post, it means a lot to me. It also means I found your blog and I am so glad I did. There are different ways childhood can be difficult – all those programs we think are the truth but actually aren’t. As an adult I can now see how much they have run my life all these years without understanding what was really going on. One gift of my Mom’s dementia is that everything intensified them, so now in my 60’s I finally see them. It hasn’t been easy to see my Mom going through dementia and finding myself with a child when I had no interest in being a mother. I wonder sometimes what my contract was for this lifetime and am I fulfilling. I have also come to believe that although I am not conscious of actually helping people and always being told I have, that I have been doing it by being who I am as I live my life. I like the way you think.


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