This is an interesting quote, not least of all because no-one actually knows who said it. It has been attributed to Albert Einstein despite the fact that it is not included in the most comprehensive list of Einstein quotations.
Anyway, that aside, it has to be said that it is a great and true statement although for me, it is less about judging other people’s abilities, though that is certainly part of it, but more about judging our own abilities. This is especially true if you compare yourself to people ‘globally’ – for instance, David Beckham plays football better than me, Roger Federer plays tennis better than me, Ansell Adams took better pictures than me, Thomas Hardy wrote better than me, Claude Monet painted better than me, etc etc, therefore I am rubbish! Clearly this is not true!
This is probably more pertinent today than ever, because with the arrival of the web and social media, it has become so much easier to compare ourselves with others, and it only takes a hint of a self-worth problem for that comparing to spiral downwards, particularly because you only see the things people want you to see on social media! Social media is NOT the truth and that is something that seriously needs to be recognised! And of course, social media is not a single entity, it is a conglomerate of many people. If you use that as a bench mark, you will always feel failure!
You see, we all have gifts and talents. But, thank the Lord, we are not all the same. We are an interdependent people and what you lack, someone else will have and vice versa. This is what community is all about as on a global scale, mankind has all the skills and gifting needed……and that includes you and me.
I read a story many years ago about the Chinese Table Tennis Team. At the time they were world beaters despite having some of the weakest backhands going. The team coach was interviewed once and asked why the team were so successful despite having such poor backhands, and the coach replied, ‘Its simple, we play to our strengths’.
Now we could debate whether you should develop your ‘weaknesses’ in order to bring them up to a better level and make yourself a more ’rounded’ individual or whether you should just focus on building your strengths, but that is not the purpose of this post. The fact is we all have our gifts and strengths, and we are all valuable, so don’t judge yourself or others inappropriately.
And just as an aside, the quote is technically not correct because there is actually one fish that can climb trees and that is the mudskipper 🙂 !
Thanks for visiting Time to Reflect and for reflecting with me.
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