The Most Important Issue Isn’t How Well You Do It, But THAT You Do It at all.

This post is nothing more than a quote from Christopher Volpe who quotes Kurt Vonnegut who wrote Cat’s Cradle in addition to many other imaginative novels. This image is one I made to illustrate a situation described in that novel.

Illustration pertinent to Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle.

Novelist Kurt Vonnegut liked to tell the story of something someone said to him as a fifteen-year-old that eventually allowed him to become the imaginative writer he became. He was on an archeological dig and one of the anthropologists was asking him the kind of “getting to know you” questions adults tend to ask young people: ‘Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject in school, etc.’ I’ll let Vonnegut tell the rest in his own words:

“And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes. And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: ‘I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.’

“And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could ‘win’ at them.”

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