Pastor Marvin Arnpriester
A friend shared with me a statement by author Kurt Vonnegut which speaks to me. I wish I had been given this advice when I was young. I am going to share it with my grandchildren.
Kurt Vonnegut: “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, and 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.’
“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 teach you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.’
“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.”