“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of ‘getting to know you’ questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.
And he went wow. That’s amazing! And I said, ‘Oh no, but I’m not any good at any of them.’
And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: ‘I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.’
And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could ‘win’ at them.”
Kurt Vonnegut


Bee Haven Bev said…
I wholeheartedly agree. And…..When it comes to the arts….no one should judge.
Susan said…
All students would benefit knowing this truth.
Anonymous said…
I agree, one does not have to win at things in order to enjoy them.
This is why I encouraged sports, bought the equipment and moved on to another sport for my children. They learned confidence, I think. They took art lessons and participated in theatre. Experiences without the pressure of being the best is good for children.