“In the choice is the talent” – Stella Adler
A friend I made on sabbatical sent me the above, and I think it is worthy of meditation. I hope you do as well. We make choices about small matters that have large consequences; we make choices without thinking; we make choices that we can get out of and some we can’t; and we make choices we regret for a long time, if not all our life. The list goes on and on.
So how do we acquire a talent for choosing. Perhaps, it’s like learning to throw a baseball or ride a bicycle. We watch how others pitch ( how others we admire make choices); we start slow (we make small choices at first – baby steps) ; we may read books or watch instructional videos; but ultimately we have to just rare back and throw or take the training wheels off and just ride knowing the first few pitches are going to be wild or we are going to have to fall and scrape our knees on occasion. As parents we just hope the damage is only a broken window or a few bumps and bruises.
I wonder then why we accept a society that punishes so harshly poor choices made by the very young. In many cases that poor choice may be the first choice a child may have made on his own. But I digress.
I also think the” real talent” comes in learning from the choices we make – good and bad. For some it seems one never learns, but for most experience and time are the best instructors.
Today we pause and think about choice – large and small, good and bad, but most important the process of choosing. We are given different degrees of talent in making choices. How do you hone yours into a real gift?
I like the quote, and in thinking about it I was struck by how many “choices” we make with absolutely no thought given. While a decision to not change, or to not consider options, or to veg out may be an unconscious choice, it is nevertheless a choice. Such choices require little or no talent, and yet can have immense impact on our lives… That thinking led me to consider that part of the talent Adler refers to must certainly include being intentional and present!
I think the Sufi’s say we need to “wake up.”