Is Talent Your Adversary
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
" The Saddest Thing In Life Is Wasted Talent," a quote taken from the movie A Bronx Tale.
Actor Robert De Niro plays a character named Lorenzo Anello, a bus driver in Bronx New York, attempting to raise his son Calogero to the best of his abilities. A Bronx Tale takes place in a working class neighborhood with an underbelly of criminal activity, controlled by a neighborhood gangster known as Sonny. As much as Lorenzo tries to keep Calogero away from Sonny, and the neighborhoods activities, proximity and allure overcomes his attempts.
The movie has a special place in my memories as you can probably tell, I could identify with Calogero growing up, I also had a big homie that could be likened to a Sonny. This blog isn't an attempt to relive the movie, but an examination of talent, and how we use it.
There are many athletes today that we admire, they seem to have gotten faster, stronger, and even smarter over the years, they're known as elite athletes. Although I wasn't an admirer of Kobe Bryant throughout his career, I did have respect for his commitment to becoming an elite basketball player. When he retired, that respect rose as I watched him become a mentor to WNBA players, as well as a great father, husband, and businessman. Kobe was likened to the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball, that being Michael Jordan. Those of us who grew up in the era of Mike, find it difficult, damn near impossible to pass the torch to any up and coming basketball player. Kobe earned that right early in his career, and as we now know since his passing, he and Michael Jordan shared a special bond that grew from admiration of one another.
With all that said, I ask the question can talent be an adversary. For all the great players that make it to play professional sports, artists that command crowds of thousands and earn millions of dollars, entertainers of all genres who make it to the top of their perspective fields, I ask is talent enough!
I'm asking a loaded question in regards of if talent is enough because I know that it isn't, I know that it takes more than talent, I know that if a person relies solely on their talent, not only will they not reach elite status, that very talent can be lost due to apathy, or laziness. For all of the people who rise to the top, there's a far greater number who let the opportunities to be great slip through their hands. Being from Chicago, I'm an inherit Bears Fan, even when I want to have nothing to do with them, I still find myself hoping!
For eight years we were stuck with a talented apathetic leader in Jay Cutler. The title quarterback basically means leader, but apathy should never be the way a leader is described. Season after season we hoped for a better turnout, and season after season we were disappointed. We saw glimmers of an elite quarterback which gave us false hope, but the attitude of our quarterback never seemed to be one of desire. When you feel that a person is doing they're very best, it's hard not to appreciate them, even if it's for effort alone. In interviews we saw apathy, because on the field we saw the same thing. Jay Cutler was believed to be an exceptional athlete when he desired to be, his talent and mysterious numbers said so, so much to at one point he earned more money than any other quarterback in the league. In 2016 or 17, in a playoff game Cutler went out due to injury, but was spotted on the side-line riding a fitness bike as his team struggled on the field. The fans had saw enough, whether that was the advice of trainers and medical staff or not, we all had had enough of Jay Cutler. Football is equal to life in the fact that they're both measured in inches, each inch represents gain.
We loved the movie "Rudy" because of the heart of
the real Rudy Ruettiger, who was portrayed by Sean Astin in 1993. He wasn't born with all the talent, but his heart made up for what he didn't have. Growing up I wasn't good at most things that I tried, but through perseverance I went from OK to good, good to better, better to great, and I'm striving to be phenomenal at everything I put my mind to. Talent + effort+ an overwhelming desire= the path to success!