Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?

What did Benjamin Franklin mean by:

Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?


This quote is a powerful reminder that talents and abilities are meant to be used, not hidden or suppressed. The metaphor of a sundial in the shade is particularly striking. A sundial is designed to tell the time using the position of the sun. But if it’s in the shade, it cannot fulfill its purpose. Similarly, if we hide our talents, we are not using them to their full potential and thus, not fulfilling our purpose.

The quote suggests that every individual has unique talents and abilities that are meant to be used for the benefit of oneself and others. If these talents are not utilized, it is a waste, just like a sundial that is placed in the shade. The sundial has a specific purpose, and it can only serve that purpose when it is exposed to the sun. Likewise, our talents can only shine when they are put into action.

In today’s world, this idea is more relevant than ever. In an age where individuality and personal expression are highly valued, it’s important to not hide our talents, but to use them and share them with the world. Whether it’s in the workplace, in our personal relationships, or in our hobbies and interests, using our talents not only benefits others, but also leads to personal fulfillment and growth.

From a personal development perspective, this quote emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and self-expression. It encourages us to identify our strengths and talents, to cultivate them, and to use them in ways that contribute positively to our lives and to the lives of others. It also suggests that hiding our talents or not using them to their full potential can lead to dissatisfaction and a sense of purposelessness.

In conclusion, this quote is a call to action. It urges us to step out of the shadows, to use our talents, and to let them shine brightly. It reminds us that we each have something valuable to offer, and that by using our talents, we can make a positive impact on the world around us.

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