“If you could be exceptional at ONE thing, but no better than average at everything else, what would it be?”
I think I’d want to be an exceptional artist. Probably a writer.
I was thinking mathematician.
But then I was thinking of the lives of mathematicians and their work, how narrow and niche and inaccessible it is to most people, yet how influential. Their contributions inspire almost every field, from engineering to physics to computers to design etc. And math seems to be timeless, crossing cultural divides and epochs.
But then, physics seems to be a bit more relatable. At least it deals the with the relationships of entities inhabiting the phenomenal world, rather than abstract expressions and relationships.
And yet, engineering seems a bit more creative, a way to utilize these mathematical relationships and create something unique from them, to solve problems and satisfy needs from the material of the world, via technology.
However, artists have this universally accessible and timeless quality to their work. It’s inspiring in some universally accessible way.
And within art there is writing, which seems to be this timeless artistic medium. Words seem to change the world. Books can program the mind. Writing seems to be the very basis of civilization. Words move men to action, to feeling, transcending the temporal, reaching out over generations, crossing all kinds of boundaries.
I think I’d love the ability to be an exceptional writer.
It’d be better to be versed in many languages, and possess the ability to borrow from the history and perspective and culture and meaning from all languages, and writing in all languages would be a tremendous skill. I’m sure it improves writing ability quite a bit.
So, art and creation.
The difference between instruments seems so arbitrary.
It’s difficult to choose between the instruments of mathematical symbols and linguistic symbols and colors and melodies. All these instruments of expression to manifest the intention of a man.
What does the world need? I feel like that determines the value of anything. But I’m not sure who decides it, if it’s the world, or if it’s the individual for the world. And so you just need to pick one thing and decide to do your part.