I am, obviously, a bit behind in my efforts at blogging. Or maybe there has just been so much good recently. Either way, this great Op-Ed was sent to me by my friend Matthew from Savannah. It reminds me of Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell – which I have been heard to (loosely) quote from recently. The bottom line – and great news – is that we can all do just about anything that we set our minds to do…as long as we are willing to practice being good at it. I can hear my father saying over, and over again, “Practice makes perfect. Practice makes perfect.” I guess that he was right.
Genius: The Modern View
By DAVID BROOKS, New York Times, May 1, 2009
Some people live in romantic ages. They tend to believe that genius is the product of a divine spark. They believe that there have been, throughout the ages, certain paragons of greatness — Dante, Mozart, Einstein — whose talents far exceeded normal comprehension, who had an other-worldly access to transcendent truth, and who are best approached with reverential awe.
We, of course, live in a scientific age, and modern research pierces hocus-pocus. In the view that is now dominant, even Mozart’s early abilities were not the product of some innate spiritual gift. His early compositions were nothing special. They were pastiches of other people’s work. Mozart was a good musician at an early age, but he would not stand out among today’s top child-performers.