The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good and Bad

Scott Sonnon posted this on Facebook:

"Playing catch with my kids, my daughter dejectedly pouted that she was bad at throwing. I replied, "good and bad don't exist, only getting better, or not practicing. One or the other." She placed a finger on her chin looking distantly into the clouds while considering my comment. Suddenly she smiled and said, "well, that makes this PRACTICE, and THAT means I'm getting BETTER!" Kids learn at such tremendous speed."


Bennett said...

I love that man

Marty S said...

I'm not sure I agree with this story. Like the full and not full it is true and not true. My view of the described situation would be as follows. We are all born with a certain potential for anything we care to undertake. How close we come to that potential depends on how much effort/practice we put into the area. But, we all have only so many hours to devote to "practice" so my definition of wisdom would include a recognition of that and the selection those areas I will put my effort in based upon which are firstly most important to me and secondly in which I have the most talent in. I think if you give a child just the "practice" advice without the selection advice you are setting them up for frustration later on.

AF1 said...

She was playing catch, Marty.

I think the advice given was more appropriate for that than telling her that she should be selective about even playing catch in the first place.

Marty S said...

I was not saying that someone should not do anything that they do not excel at. I do, enjoy and participate in, many things I am not good at. A message I often give my grandson when he gets upset about losing is that it is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. But there are times in life when one makes critical decisions about ones future where they must recognize their talents and limitations or they mat be setting themselves up for failure and frustration. One of the most important moments of my life was the week in my freshman year at college when I realized that I had small talent for my chosen field of Physics and a much larger talent for Mathematics and made the needed switch to being a math major.