Gavin R. Putland,  BE PhD

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 (Comment)

The Devil's talent

God loves a small talent if it's the only one you have. But if you have a small talent and a big one, the Devil loves the small one, because there's a limit to how much good the small one can do, but no limit — short of 100 percent — to how much time it can divert from the use of the big one.

The potential to divert time is the greater because your small talent, by definition, will be used inefficiently: what a properly talented person could do before breakfast will take you half the week.

The potential to divert time is the greater still because you are more likely to be asked to use a small talent than a big one. A small talent can usually be recognized by all, a big one by few, and a unique insight by none but its possessor.

Moreover, if you have a big talent, it is a practical certainty that you have a small one too; if all else fails, the big one will have off-label uses for which it functions as a small one.

To use a small talent, you can go with the flow. To use a big one, you must choose your company carefully. To share a unique insight, you must flee from all and sundry, because every person who crosses your path will want you to do something else.

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