Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Kurt Vonnegut

When I was 15, I spent a month working on archaeological dig. I was talking with one of the archaeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those "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 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 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 enjoy them. I had been raised in a very 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



  1. I find it interesting that one person's comment can change a life. In this case, Kurt Vonnegut's life. So weigh carefully what you say to others, and remember that the right words at the right time do make a difference.

  2. Agree 100%. That why you should always aim to be kind because you never know how large a ripple-effect a small act of kindness may have.