There’s something I’ve noticed as I’ve grown older. It’s something that cuts across work, sports and social situations. There’s an almost universal demand for respect. Not really for anything, just because. There’s no indication or inclination toward reciprocity, just a demand that because I am here or, so that the older generation don’t feel left out, because I have done my time there should be some recognition. And when the world shrugs its collective shoulders there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I was brought up to have more compassion than to just shrug, so instead I ask the question “what of it?”
How about this – “so what have you done with your time?” Yes, there are marks for attendance in my book. That act puts you ahead of a good selection of the rest of society. But, as I have said before, just turning up is not enough. Whether you are early in your journey, or further along, it’s a start but not the end. What will you do? These are important things to ask of yourself. These are even more important to ask if you are about to curse the fates.
There’s a spill over of this attitude into all sorts of facets of performance. The myth persists about “natural” players or “born talent”. It’s balls! At most people have a greater propensity to gravitate to these things – the component parts come a little more readily. But the great leaders or sport men and women have worked bloody hard to be so and the persistent retelling of the natural talent story is to do them a disservice… Perhaps it is no coincidence to find that the myths are most often perpetuated by those who did not make it….
We all start out with worth and potential, so do not be surprised when you find yourself assessed on the basis of what you have done with it.