Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven. ~Yiddish Proverb
As the Olympic Games comes to a close, I’m struck by the talent of athletes like Simone Biles.
This tiny gymnast captured five medals (four of them gold), and many experts predict the sky really is the limit for her.
I remember taking a segment on gymnastics when I was in high school.
Our teacher thought “young ladies” should know how to carry themselves with grace, and she determined that items like a balance beam, parallel bars, etc. were the vehicles to accomplish that.
Little did she know. Most of us preferred golf, softball, tennis, field hockey … anything where we could take out the frustrations of sitting long hours in class by swinging a club and hitting something!
Still, walking on a four-inch wide slab isn’t easy. Nor is getting up there, getting off, or tumbling while on it. And swinging from two wooden poles or performing floor exercises — both to choreographed routines — aren’t a stroll in the park either.
We like to think we’re all equal. In reality, we’re not.
We don’t have the same abilities, interests, or opportunities.
No way can I do the moves Simone does, even with my gymnastics training (such as it was).
Good thing I don’t have any interest in being a world class gymnast!
I think what matters is that we all have the opportunity to become our best selves, whatever we envision that to be.
Talents are based on genetics and/or training. Music, art, literature, athletics, accounting, medicine, teaching … all start with a spark of interest which, when fueled by opportunity and training, can take a person to lofty heights.
What’s sad is there are still parts of our world where talents aren’t nurtured. Where people don’t have the privilege of choosing to develop a natural ability. Where children spend more time hiding from danger than they do watching or emulating heroes.
And the world is a drabber place because their light isn’t able to shine.
*Faster, Higher, Stronger has been the official Olympic motto since 1924.