With everything perfect, … we do not ask how it came to be. … we rejoice in the present fact as though it came out of the ground by magic*
If we overemphasise talent, we underemphasise everything else.*
Friedrich Nietzsche and Angela Duckworth ponder
why it is that we so love the idea of natural talent,
Our vanity, our self-love, promotes the cult of the genius. For if we think of genius as something magical, we are not obliged to compare ourselves and find ourselves lacking . … To call someone “divine” means: “here there is no need to compete.*
We’re off the hook, then.
But, if we understand how talent is shaped and formed,
How it’s not dropped into us before birth,
That whilst it does have a lot to do with our accident of birth,
With ensuing opportunities,
It is also formed,
Yes, yes, yes,
With hard graft,
And then we’re not off the hook,
We’re very much on the hook of possibility.
It’s always been about putting in the effort.
In some words I read at the beginning of today,
The apostle Paul has been writing about the special abilities that he has seen
in different people, but he then goes on with some
graft-laden language –
Holy grit, even:
Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.**
*Angela Duckworth’s Grit;