Legendary And Gifted? Well, Perhaps (ms)

In scanning through a popular magazine the other evening I noticed the word legendary used three times in maybe twenty pages. I may be off in the pages but I also may be off in the number of times the word was used. I saw the three uses but could well have missed others.

I went to the dictionary to check the definition of the word just because I was curious. I happen to think we use words like that too frequently when describing individuals. At any rate the definition reads in part: “…remarkable enough to be famous, very well known”. Now I take it that if you want to become a legend just become well known because one follows the other. Of course you could also have someone write a magazine article about you in which the writer describes you as legendary. It’s a free admission to the world of fame even though only your high school class and a few neighborhood buddies know you. That is provided you didn’t graduate too many years ago.

We throw descriptive words around like they are confetti. Another favorite of mine is, gifted. I went back to the dictionary. “Gifted” means in part “…having exceptional talent or natural ability”. Most frequently used in sports, I heard a football commentator describe several players on both teams as gifted. He did not tell me what made them gifted only that they were. I don’t think a player is particularly gifted because he can catch a football. First of all, that’s what he’s supposed to do and no one I know is described as gifted for merely doing what he’s supposed to do. Second, he undoubtedly makes a lot of money catching footballs and he knows if he stops doing that the money transfers into his bank account will stop just as quickly. Third, my guess is he catches footballs without thinking as a matter of survival; if he stops to think about it six guys chasing him may run him over. Better to think when you’re in the end zone.

I get the feeling this gifted and legendary titling gets started long before people become adults. We strive not to hurt anyone’s feeling especially in their younger years so we are quick to give them praise even though they may not really deserve it. If you start that sort of thing early enough a kid actually begins to believe it so by the time he or she reaches maturity they are convinced they’re gifted and surely destined to become legends. Either that or they’ll hire one heck of a media representative who will persuade a reporter to do a story and somehow work those two words into the piece. There you go.

Of course some folks will read this and accuse me of sour grapes, say that I’m just jealous because I am not a legend and I am not gifted. Never said I was, never thought I was; I’m just a guy who tells stories. Makes me wonder, though, what might have happened if I just had a good media representative.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on June 16, 2011.

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