Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Know thyself

I often wonder how well people know themselves. Whenever I see the episodes of Idols with the tryouts I get confused. Many times there's someone who can't sing to save their life and shows it by not keeping any tone at all while raping a classic. The jurors gasp for air from the terror their ears have to endure and in no uncertain terms tell the contestant he or she, well, sucks. Then he or she comes out, all in tears that "a dream didn't come true". Then there's a loving mother who sticks her face in the camera, claiming that her child does have talent and they'll show the world! And although everyone has one or more talents, it's clear to everyone who's watching that that contestants particular talent isn't singing (or keeping tone for that matter).

It's understandable that everybody wants to be special. We all want to be admired by our peers. Knowing that you are something others never or only a few can be gives us a sense of superiority. It gets us attention. Attention that we crave of receiving. And some seem to crave for attention so much, they delude themselves into thinking they're something they're not. And it doesn't help that relatives and friends support those delusions (how well intended those feelings are).

Because it can be ridiculed. It's what programs like Idols thrive on. The best watched episodes are those first couple where the talent is seperated from the (sometimes very) untalented. And it's that group that people are watching for. Seeing that someone makes a complete fool out of themselves on national television. Not the ones that come up and clearly go out to have a little fun with being on the tv, but those who's hearts are crushed by the rejection. Those who have told themselves that they could sing. Believing it so by the support of friends and family who, because of their loving feelings towards him or her, support thier misguided search for fame. They are used. Used for being a bit ignorant about what they can or can't do. Used to get good ratings.

And that can be avoided. It may not be on national television, but there can be numerous situations where someone is in way over their head and they end up being disillusioned, hurt or crushed. Knowing what your strengths are is great. Knowing what your weaknesses are is even better. If you want to become something realy bad, sure you can work hard at it. Determination can get you real far. But even determination can't give you a certain talent. When you're afraid of hights, you'll never be a pilot or climber. When your hand trembles you'll never be a surgeon. When your voice sounds like a combination between a rasp and meatgrinder you'll never be a singer. When you're not 5"11 you'll never be supermodel.

We all have our strong and weak points. Everyone has talents. Getting to know them is getting to know yourself. And when you know yourself it's easy to figure out which dream to pursue. And to live the dream.

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