A great many years ago, a baby boy was welcomed into the world. Upon his miraculous arrival, many people rejoiced, and groups traveled long distances to present their finest gifts to this special newborn called a king.
A young man called Little Drummer Boy also wanted to present the kind of extravagant gifts that others were bestowing upon the baby. But he was very poor and had no riches to share.
“What kind of gift can a poor boy like me give to someone as important as this baby boy?” he wondered. “I have nothing to give, nothing to compare to the riches he will receive.”
Determined to see this newborn king, the Little Drummer Boy made the long journey. It was a glorious site to behold. As he approached the manger where the baby was born, he was surprised that it seemed to be nothing more than a small stable. The closer he came, he saw Three Wise Men presenting riches of frankincense, gold, and myrrh. Once again, the Little Drummer Boy felt humiliated that he had nothing fit to give a king.
Stepping closer to where the baby lay, a wondrous thought came to him.
“I can play my drum for him,” the Little Drummer Boy said softly. Joseph & Mary, who had given birth to the baby, heard the boy’s whispers and nodded at the Little Drummer Boy. With hesitation, the boy began to play slowly and quietly.
As people began to circle around the Little Drummer Boy smiling and nodding with encouragement, he became more confident. His drumming grew in intensity. Beautiful sounds filled the air, and crowds gathered around him as he played his drum for the newborn King. At that very moment, the baby smiled at the Little Drummer Boy.
Mary’s face glowed with happiness as she intently listened to the Little Drummer Boy. Her heart overflowed with joy, for she knew that this poor young man had given the best gift of all to her savior son – by sharing his talents, he gave the Gift of Love.
Leaders can learn from the Little Drummer Boy, and his selfless offering of giving of himself. The Gift of Love is an important component of leadership, according to Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, authors of “The Leadership Challenge”:
“The best-kept secret of successful leaders is love. … Leadership is not an affair of the head. Leadership is an affair of the heart.”
Without encouragement, many of us are similar to the Little Drummer Boy – reluctant to share our gifts with others for fear that we’re not good enough or don’t measure up to others. Withholding our gifts is a disservice to the world. Our talents are not meant to be hoarded, hidden from the rest of the world – our gifts are an investment in others and carry forward the Gift of Love. Regardless of other advice, counseling, coaching or teaching in which we engage with others, it is the Gift of Love for what we do and whom we serve that will last the longest and mean the most.
“If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don’t hoard it. Don’t dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.” – Brendan Francis
The story of The Little Drummer Boy teaches us that even though our talents shared through the Gift of Love are not wrapped in expensive paper with fancy bows, it is the most precious gift of all.