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Why are people blinded by potential?
A friend of mine gave birth to a very cute baby. The baby was already several months old when I went to visit them for the first time, and I was immediately charmed by him.
The funny thing is that I was not so much impressed by his cuteness but by his “wisdom.” I kept thinking that it is amazing to be only a few months old and have this quiet outlook on the world, not trying to hide anything or pretend to be anyone. To me, he seemed to have achieved the state of just “being”, and I felt that I was looking at someone by far wiser than me.
Coming back, I gave an account of my visit and described the little one to a friend who said that what I perceived as “wise” was the hidden potential of the baby, and that he was actually not really wise. I wonder whether it is indeed the veneration of the hidden potential that made me think the baby wise, or was he actually wise?

People in general seem to me to always prefer potential. Why are people blinded by potential?
It's very strange, how people seem to feel for the most part that there are very few junctures in life when one is really open to great transformation. I'm not sure there are many other than Dante who have glorified the middle points of passage as places where the world may open up and show you something unfathomable and new. Wouldn't it make sense that having been aware of the great danger and possibility involved in acts like being born and growing up, that we would then consider the magnitude of the unknown world before us, and feel the urgency of responsibility? But we don't feel like the Greeks at Troy, arrived on the battlefield after a long gathering of troops and a stormy passage. Nor do we often feel like initiates who have the potential to articulate or conjure up something astonishing after safely coming through a long apprenticeship. Maybe it is only granted to the few people aware of the vast beauty imminent in our world to see something of its shadow. And granted to all of the watching crowd to feel this revelation only as a crystallization, instead of as a witness to life and its immense mystery.
Funny story Dana, but isn't it more like : “In potential do we trust” ? It amounts to the same thing, but I can better understand the trust felt towards potential than the blindness.

I think that it is often not so much blindness as a calculated move-a trust that comes from the fact that whomever, or whatever it is, is yet in its infancy, and therefore is more open to being manipulated by the trustees. As if the will of the potential is not yet developed enough to be an obstacle and therefore the trusted object can be “used” more easily to the trustee's own benefits and private goals.

Another thing is that the moment people support someone, or something- they put themselves in the front. It is their intellect, their capacity to think and judge, their ideas and ideologies that will be closely looked at and most probably criticized.

Failure is better taken when something is young. First, because we all know that babies don't always turn to be as great as when they were little, and it's therefore not such a bad judgment on the judges' behalf, it is rather an unfortunate but understandable disappointment. Secondly, as we all think “young is cute” , the general judgment is more lenient towards everyone concerned, including the trustees. And last point- it is not given to all the ability to see, understand or recognize novelty and genius. It is most unfortunately an ability given to the very few, that are becoming even fewer (and are soon going to be an extinct race).

In response to Edna Stern
Greetings Edna,
 
You wrote ' it is not given to all the ability to see, understand or recognize novelty and genius. It is most unfortunately an ability given to the very few, that are becoming even fewer (and are soon going to be an extinct race).'
 
How do you arrive at that conclusion, and if correctly so, isn't that very frightening?
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Latest Post: March 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM
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