of my fondest beliefs, persevering through my years as a teacher, unshaken by my experiences at work (more of that later), and undeterred by inexplicable events like buffoons willing elections (I won’t say to whom I’m referring), is that everyone, and I do mean every single soul on our soil has talent. Of course, I don’t claim to know what that talent may be, nor am I going to even attempt to convince you that there is a silver bullet solution to discover what yours is.
But, before that, for those of you who cannot stand a mystery without a solution, let me tell you about my years as a teacher and experiences at work. After recently attending a reunion, every single one of my ex-classmates were successful in their respective fields – scientists, writers, voice artists, yoga gurus, painters, CEOs, … the list is a veritable who’s who of master professions. We were fortunate in that we had career counselling supported by aptitude tests that zeroed in on our talents and honed our skills accordingly.
"For most of you reading this, if you’ve discovered what this is, good for you and don’t give up till you’ve made the most of it."
Thanks to the democratic nature of the public education system in most countries, this spectacular facility is limited to a few select private schools. Aptitude tests, they say tend to pigeon-hole human beings, limit potential and generally pooh-poohed. Administered correctly, analysed sensitively and advice focusing on potential rather than limitations, the feature, IMO, is a must for all schools.
Much later, at work, I lost count of incompetent, irresponsible talented individuals who were in the wrong jobs. Don’t ask why. Reasons are far too numerous to enumerate here.
But I digress. However, the subject of his blog is not about talent going wasted, rather the irrefutable fact that each of us possess it – empirical evidence supports this. There is a virtually unprovable theory behind this fact.
Let me explain my theory.
We humans are created equal. No, I’m not referring to politics, the American constitution, Abe Lincoln’s speech, nor am I seeking to prove or disprove theories of evolution. Shudder. God forbid.
I’m talking about the human genome. While there are minor differences, the vast majority of our DNA are identical. These miniscule differences give us character, capability, qualities and innate skills. There are some that have been passed on through thousands of years of genetic mutation and those programmed into our DNA. It is up to us to find what those special skills are. Which is why we are asked to do a myriad of things in early schooling years. Unfortunately, the school systems don’t progress beyond the initial nudging, hoping that parents and children will figure it out for themselves. Sort of. The reality is that the subject areas are not broad enough. They are not modern enough. They rely on outside influences to encourage and nurture.
Think back. Einstein. Alexandra Graham Bell. Sophocles. Aristotle. Sun Tzu. Galileo. Ramanujan. Beethoven. Van Gogh. Leonardo da Vinci. Marie Curie. Mary Shelley. Jane Goodall. The list is endless. Few of them enjoyed patronage. Many of them had no encouragement in their formative years. Some of them were even abused.
As many as there are, as endless the list, the numbers are a small micro-fraction of the sum total of humanity. I’m not saying that we are all geniuses. I am saying that we each have a talent that we need to discover. Most may never find it. Many find it but far too late to do anything about it. More will find it sooner, but because of individual circumstances, lack of support, bigotry, discrimination or just dumb luck never get to use them. A tiny minority will try very hard and achieve a modicum of success. An even tinier few will actually achieve fame and fortune.
For most of you reading this, if you’ve discovered what this is, good for you and don’t give up till you’ve made the most of it. For those who don’t and trust me, it’s very easy to tell if you have or have not discovered it, keep looking, try new things until you find it.
As humanity blunders on, I seriously hope for a future, not unlike Star Trek, where we have the luxury of time and support to find it early and lead fruitful, happy lives. Until then, we have religion, capitalism and democracy. Hallelujah.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.
Sigh again. With a saddened heart, I bid you goodbye, but only for the moment.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Talk soon.
Thank you Ravina for a great blog, great to have you open our blog post for the new year.
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