“The world in which we live equally distributes talent, but it doesn’t equally distribute opportunity.”
I am not sure of its the line’s origin or its speaker — I only did a cursory search on Google for the commencement speaker in the ad for a local college — and it sounds like an inversion of the argument over equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome.
But no matter the context (and the possibility of my taking out of context, since it was a short clip) or who’s saying it, I want to throw something every time I hear it.
It should be self-explanatory (and infuriating in its own right) that opportunity is not distributed equally, but the part that annoys me is the claim that talent is.
And to prove my point, I’m going to use …
… this guy.
Josh Groban is one of the world’s great singers. Yes, while he may have received opportunities other talented people may have not, and he has clearly worked on his craft, whoever was handling out talents on Feb. 27, 1981, decided “This one … this one is going to be able to sing like few people can even imagine.”
As for me, I was a halfway-decent tenor in my high school choir — my voice took forever to change and is still not incredibly deep — who never tried out for solos because I knew that if I ever got one, I’d probably be so nervous during the concert that my voice would crack.
Also, if everyone had Josh Groban’s singing talent, his talent wouldn’t be all that impressive.
Although it would probably make the average karaoke night more bearable.
So … how about having some skill equivalent to Josh Groban’s singing? Clearly, that must be it!
Nope. There are things I’m good at, but there’s no one thing I’m as talented at as he is at singing.
But maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree. Maybe it’s not about talent at any one thing, but talent in all facets of life.
However, unless … oh, I don’t know … Josh Groban accidentally turns into Oddjob while throwing a Frisbee in the park with his friends, I’m not sure he could be so terrible at something to wipe away his advantages as a singer (and pianist, songwriter and actor, by the way).
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s turn to some talented writers, shall we?
What I wrote
I’m happy to show anyone who asks that I’m vaccinated … but no one is asking.
Stuff I read
Pea Green turned 40.
The resurgence of the pandemic, and the uncertainty it’s causing, is throwing Rosie for a loop.
Speaking of people for whom throwing things makes them a hazard, you might want to steer clear of Renata if you encounter her with an axe.
Jeff is having trouble understanding people who would let others die.
Emily confesses to a shallow habit.
According to Erin, the reaction to Simone Biles pulling out of Olympic events shows how society still doesn’t understand mental health.
Vee is struggling with her fear of failure.
Cass and her fiancé got some help to plan their wedding.
Christina was in a funk, but then she got out of the house. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
For all their problems, Paul believes this year’s Olympics were still valuable.
In honor of writing about baseball for nine years, Jackie shared nine, mostly nine-related, facts.
A couple things have gone wrong at Pepper’s house, and she wonders how long it will take her husband to get them fixed.
Austin writes that Aaron also had a significant problem with a household device.
Ally heard an interesting chant from her neighbor’s yard.
Rick is getting a little better at dealing with life’s frustrations.
Natalie lost her faith after her fiancé died, but she has gotten it back.
Jackie in Italy went to the mountains. It looks pretty nice.
The Huntress is trying to get into the swing of things in her new house.
Shayleene can’t stop worrying.
Zoe finds couples with their own special language annoying … unless she’s in one of them.
“We wrestle with the inevitable by propelling ourselves forward in time and space. What do we build first? Where do we place the corrals? We step into the future to, of course, disappear. But we take trusting steps forward nonetheless.”
“Please yourself. You’re just a kid with a tape recorder. You’re just an uncool mom who’s also a benevolent dragon queen. This is your one life. Make as much magic as you possibly can while you’re here.”
“If you’re going to cede the power of the last word to someone else, you’d better be damn sure that person deserves it.” (I have been thinking A LOT about this line lately.)
Tweets I liked
Suzi would know if I did it, and then I’d be single.
It was … at least for a few minutes.
Other than frequently going back to make sure I locked the door, I have no idea what this is about.
I do know people who turn their stories into journeys. I, of course, do no such thing.
If I don’t replace the bar soap, I don’t get clean.