30 September 2012

social commentary Sunday . . . 'the price of professional talent'

Greetings all,
Now i am all about positive thinking & aiming high with aspirations, however, just how badly are some children being set up for failure - being told constantly they can be whatever they want to be.  Is the value put on their apparent 'talent' instead of worth as a human being??  Who wants to admit "my supermodel daughter was charged for drink driving??"  Too much focus on primping looks, instead of being a functioning member of society.  Our Olympic swimming team . . . cocooned in the insular environment of success based on performance . . . most acted like brats when they didn't win & made fools of themselves on social media to confirm their dysfunction.  Versus the incredible success from our dignified ParaOlympic swimmers - who showed grace & appreciation + a life beyond swimming talent or their disability . . . on a fraction of tax payer funding & corporate backing!!    
Are today's children reminded that it takes high grades to get into medicine/ law/ engineering?? . . . + talent to be a singer/ actor/ model/ writer/ designer/ artist!!  If you want to have a highly desired career, it takes a lot of practise, dedication, luck & talent.  Are they going to cope with rejection & not starting off their working life - as the boss??!!  Growing up i wanted to be a vet, then 'realistically downgraded' my dreams to forensic science, i got the marks & attended University.  In my early 20s i realised i didn't want to be a pharmacologist, rather a wife & mother instead.  I was raised to work hard so i could control my choices & be flexible with the world, i wasn't always going to get what i wanted, so i've coped with rejection & dramatic changes to my plans.  Sometimes timing & circumstances are everything!!  
At the Emmys this week, my favourite character "Cam" from Modern Family, actor Eric Stonestreet won & said those damning words many obscure successful singer/ actor/ model/ writers say . . . the 'never give up on your dream' speech.  Because he made it.  Reality . . . it was a fluke!!  The unconventional non-Hollywood-cookie-cutter-actor sometimes does make it.  It's rare.  You might have incredible talent - but you still have to be 'discovered' to be a professional, especially if you're going it alone on YouTube.  I adore Eric, however, wonder how many want-to-be-actors are slogging it out at auditions today & will never ever succeed.  Do they have a back up plan??  Even the highest earning actress in the world, Sofia Vergara has a back up career, as a dentist.  She truly has everything!!   
There has to be a limitation on how far you will go to make your talent a profession.  The incredible talent of JK Rowling is stratospheric & i believe the world is a better place with the Harry Potter series, the legacy for children's literacy is tremendous.  However, how dangerous is it for an aspiring writer to believe they are the next JK Rowling??  The Harry Potter manuscript was rejected dozens of times too.  Dream high, yet beware of when it becomes an obsession - impacting on your job/ income, family/ relationships, thoughts/ health . . . this is dangerous territory & those dreams should be a 'hobby', allowing life to go on, remain grounded, satisfied & realistic with what you have!!  
Why do people have to have a talent full stop??  Why isn't it Ok to simply be Ok??  Work in a solid job that provides for your lifestyle/ family/ hobby & be awesome at making people feel good about themselves.  Does your talent only count if it's your profession??  Why is super stardom so desirable??  Star-doom.  Beyond talent & being paid to do what you love . . . there is the fame game.  
Kim Kardashian has made a career out of nothing, to become a model, spokesperson, brand & 'event draw card'.  Whatever.  Alas, Kim wouldn't be paid the big bucks if people didn't let her become famous (media & fans) but at what cost - her privacy, her love life - constantly having her intelligence & morals questioned . . . she continues to cash the cheques.  Did Kim dream for this??  How can you dream to turn nothing (no product, no service, no talent) into an empire??  This is an entirely new 'dream' & the fact it doesn't relate to anything in this poster . . . does not gain my respect.
Chatting about 'talent' to my gal pal Tania McCartney, a full-time-day-job-professional author, who works hard, has talent & experience, self publishing & kaboom, discovered - numerous titles with books flying off shelves . . . she sent me this poster - the wording more eloquent & concise than my ramble above.  Reality television does not help this message - even the harmless MasterChef series is shocking a generation of want-to-be chefs out of the kitchen as they don't want to wash dishes & work their way up.  I do not respect fame or success without doing the hard yards.  
Appreciate what you have & be kind to people.  Bake those awesome cakes, you don't have to sell them to confirm your talent, soak up how you make people feel when they receive one.  Try amateur theatre & share your talent locally, than expecting to walk straight in to a Hollywood role.  Write your friends beautiful notes & create stories for your children, unpublished!!  Doodle away while you're on the phone, without dreaming of being PIcaso.  I focus my children on how they act & relate to other people EVERY DAY than the latest certificate, award or ribbon they bring home ONE DAY.  The world doesn't need anymore spoilt brats or substance-less talented people!!  Plus they do the dishes!!  Love Posie


Nancy said...

Hi Jenn:
This is such a good positive post. I have one child who is gifted intellectually. I have been so tired of people commenting that she "is so lucky" to get into Harvard; to attend a World College in Canada with 100 kids from around the world and 100 from across Canada. She isn't lucky - she has worked hard. She has taken on French public speaking; leadership challenges; physical challenges like an ultra marathon. She has parents who have supported her emotionally and financially when required - BUT not at the expense of our other 2 because what she has is a gift. And when she wanted to go across the country 4000 km to the world college at 17 we said: we support you and if you fall - we are there for you - but not to rescue. So yes - nothing comes without work - average or not.

Maddy said...

Great post, Posie, and much food for thought!

The Creative Beast said...

This is excellent and much needed social commentary you have posted here and I love the realistically revised "never give up on your dream" poster, because every word of it is TRUE!! You simply can not achieve any 'dream' or GOAL without putting in the work to make it happen - the science of that just doesn't add up! ;)

BTW - loved the example of Ms, Kardashian, but sadly, some people actually do want Fame without having anything of meaning to contribute to get that fame...sheesh! =-\

Tania McCartney said...


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