Re: Innate Talents, etc.

Subject: Re: Innate Talents, etc.
From: Gwen Barnes <gwen -dot- barnes -at- MUSTANG -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 16:21:52 GMT

-> Personally, I find assumptions about "innate abilities" to be divisiv
-> and dismissive. I've seen people who "can't sing" turn into wonderfu
-> singers; people who, like Barbie, find that "math is hard" turn into
-> scientists and engineers; and people who "can't write" develop into
-> excellent writers.
->
-> What's so horrifying about the idea that people can learn?

There is nothing horrifying about it at all. If the ideology to which
one subscribes insists that everyone is equal to everyone else in every
respect, one is bound to be disappointed to find that no amount of
practice or training is going to make me, for instance, as brilliant a
hockey player as Wayne Gretzky, or as clever a businessman as Bill
Gates. Don't think I haven't tried ...

If, however, one's ideology allows for recognizing and welcoming
diversity of abilities rather than homogeneity, one is then free to
encourage people to develop innate aptitudes into exceptional abilities.

Raw talent is not enough in itself for success -- one must learn the
skills that will enable one to make productive use of one's talents. A
lack of talent in a particular area can be compensated to some extent by
hard work, but I truly believe that there *is* a difference, discernable
by an ordinary person, between competence and brilliance.

I have many friends who have a strong interest in some particular thing
or other. The ones who are very lucky also have innate talents that
match their interests, and they have gone on to achieve brilliance. The
rest have worked very hard and achieved either satisfaction or
frustration. Some have dealt with that and moved on, for others it
continues to be a sore point.


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