Thursday, June 25, 2015

Armed Only With Desire


Everybody wants it, few have it. Can't buy it, can't have it installed surgically, can't learn it.  You got it, or you don't.

That's a tough pill and harsh lesson learned the day you realize that no amount of hard work is going to make you good enough in your chosen endeavour, no river of blood, sweat and tears deep enough to rise above what genetics and luck failed to provide.  All those trite platitudes ring tinny and hollow:

"If you dream it, you can do it!"

"Quitters never win, winners never quit!"

"You can be anything you want if you work hard enough!"

Experience teaches that these things simply aren't true, at least for us mere humans.  Which is not to say that we cannot improve, and reach, say, a fairly proficient level of skill in something.  But without that inborn trait, some hereditary disposition to excel, chances of setting the world on fire are slim.

What then?  Many simply accept reality and move on.  But what of those who can't?  The ones who feel born to do something they are simply not that good at?  It can seem almost tragic to think of someone continuing on in this manner, but I often wonder if that's the case.  Adversity builds character and creates characters, and there is perhaps no greater adversity than a lack of talent.

My favorite heroes, both real and imaginary have always been the underdogs.  The ones who asked no quarter despite mounting insurmountables and certain failure.  The outwitted, outplayed, outmanned, outgunned outsider with nothing but the passion to continue going until the vines of defeat and old age so ensare that all movement ceases, yet with final breaths still whispering defiances.  To paraphrase Barry Switzer, I have no interest in those born on third base, but in those still clawing their way out of the dugout armed only with desire.

Hmm. Maybe passion is a talent?

Maybe talent is over-rated, but it sure comes in handy.

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