Thursday, April 9, 2015

Enterprising Talent Scouts

  When you go to watch Aggie baseball in the spring, you might occasionally spot a scout from Major League ball in the stands. The normal giveaways such that we begin to suspect scoutery afoot, are fairly obvious.
  The guy is sitting quietly, intently observing and measuring the plays being made (or not). Often, a small clipboard, or a tablet of some type keeps getting notations. He doesn't appear to be "for" either team, and never makes remarks aloud about umpire callls. The radar gun he occasionally deploys to gauge pitch speed is likely the most obvious sign that he is sizing up players, for a report. And although I do not know this part to be true, we assume that the players themselves are also quite aware of his presence in the stands. They want to look good, and here is their chance to shine!
  On an apparently unrelated note; I vaguely recall as a boy watching "The Ted Mack Amateur Hour" on T.V., and in this case the scouting for talent, was (I think) not an expert, but the audience. Whatever falls under the wide rubric of "talent"; singing, dancing, juggling, ventroliquism and whatnot were called "acts". Whatever the week"s prize was, the show was nationally televised; and so a "hope" was extended to the performers. Maybe this is where they "get discovered", next stop; the bigtime!
  This measuring of which is best, and what is worth what ("wiww"; in much of the remainder of this C.P.E.) is an interesting topic, don't you agree?
  Have you seen those dog shows? The judges are awarding something for some kind of behavior, plus looks I think. The wiww involved, is clearly outside my scope. Just why a said winner won in my estimation remains a mystery. We assume that the dog owners must devote tremendous amounts of time, energy and effort to get the perfect dog to do the perfect thing. I cannot imagine why, but the judges can!
  We all deploy wiww fields. Mario is a street rod guy, and can spot a chopped '49 Dodge from a quarter mile away, plus tell you how the car is merely alright, and not truly great. Big Joe can paint up a storm on the tank of a motorcycle, he has the feel for quality, and can sense almost clean work. We each have areas of our person, where we feel competent to be the unpaid scout for talent, ability and expertise.
  I have, over the years attempted to understand some of the areas for which I possess zero aptitude, in the (usually vain) hopes of gaining perspective or insight from others. Gabe the mechanic will tell you if you just ask; "Well, what makes this particular engine so powerful compared to others?". He knows! He knows the names of cars as they go by, and rattles off the brief histories of their engineering. They all look like jelly beans with wheels to me. Rick the tree guy will bend your ear with various theories of irrigation, and nitrogen fixing in the soil, if only he could find an audience. Nan the colors girl will wax eloquent on the necessities of shading, plus warm versus cool colorization. We all have onboard scanning to detect wiww in our locus of inborn capacity plus life experience.
  The easiest way to like people is to ask a few leading questions and get them talking about what is worth what, by their lights and standards. Shouldn't I rephrase? I guess we mean, the easiest way for you to get people to assume that you like them (whether you do, or not) is to get them speaking about wiww.
  Now, to my thinking, the word "talent" in english has some rather surprising breadth of meaning. Back on the Mack show, it wasn't that unusual to see "plate spinning" done onstage. As far as we know, there is no use in this world for that skill, except to entertain. The ability to high jump over a seven foot bar will likely never be applied to gaining entry after forgetting gate keys. Singing is a bit different, in that others might perhaps join in? To teach a dog to sit, and then parade around for awhile all of that time resisting the urge to pee on the next upright, appears to be a hobby for royalty maybe? But the basic idea behind talent, is a greek word "talanton"; which simply means "to lift, or weigh".
  The greek word was a well acknowledged standard of measure, having to do with silver or gold. Talents were not so much for spending as they were tools for weighing. A barter economy, plus unregulated metals exchange made a fair balance (remember blind lady justice?), plus known weights essential for mercantile trade. To be weighed in the balance and found wanting, meant that your talent was light, and hence you are a crook!
  The original purpose for weight equalization had to do with the primitive version of inflation I once read. The gold or silver coins minted by the sovereign were passed from hand to hand in sales, but along the way, got progressively lighter! Miracle no, filing the edges yes. Over time, the face value of the coin did not equal the weighted value as the coins themselves shrunk. We compare, out of a standard known.
  Just listen to people; "Drag racing is better than polo", or "song exceeds dance", and the crucial "pudding is worse than pie" we hear them (us!) firmly assert. Soon enough, we find the; "I disagree completely" lurking within a seven foot radius, in a given social gathering. The contrasting views are weighed in the balance by "reason and common sense", and the audience gets to take part! The fair trade, the enterprise of comparing the beauty of dance to the truth of song is weighed. Ordinarily, some truce is struck where both sides can agree; such as, "Elvis really was a great performer after all", or some similar middle ground. Most people appear to be satisfied with seeing things from their perspective, and just letting the matter rest there, but the exceptions are fascinating!
  You meet old people who say; "Oh, I've picked up a few things along the way". The guy knows how to rebuild a motor, raise roses, cook 74 differing ethnic foods, and speed read. . . for starters? The old lady knows how to arc weld, butcher a hog, do the waltz and 42 other dances, plus was a newspaper editor, as opening gambit? These "few things" they mentioned, become rather a swarm in a hurry. Next week, you begin to realize that the swarm is moreso an armada of talents. There is overlap, and those areas they weigh-by, (the wiwws of their lives) have expanded enormously as they have intersected with others. They appear to have reversed or inverted the "keep" option, and do not repeatedly return to their favorite set of talents, but keep growing the collection over time. They have become enterprising souls, trading in the balance with those they meet, so to walk away with yet another talent traded. They have become scouts, able to detect the star players, and measure alternate kinds of wiww fastballs. Once the prospect is located out of the group, they recruit for the trade! They say to the youngster; "You seem like a sharp young fellow", just to imbalance the scale. They lighten their side of the fulcrum, so to get the other into teaching mode, whereupon they rapidly learn and take in so to compare, with the other treasures already gathered. Those old guys can be cagey!
  Just how do you see things anyhow? What is it which reveals in your person what is worth what? I mean, by what standard can you correctly infer that soccer is "a better game"? And it is the standards which are the treasure weighed. Dignity, loyalty, fearlessness, and friendly humility are what is the gravity enhancement, the "weight", the glory of the mambo. Welcome, beauty, truthfulness and endurance are those heavy values, the shine of homemade chicken noodle soup. It's like baseball, but backwards, the MLB heavies have invaded the bush leagues! The small potatoes interests (proper care and feeding of goldfish) are informed by the gravity assist, the heaviness of compassion, gentleness and solemn reflection.
  There is a seeding going on from above, and we are the living witness of it. The terrific freight of loyalty unto death is placed in the shallow ground of newlyweds, and it takes root there! So, to grow up in light of that treasure, next thing we find perseverence, kindness and thoughtful patience have also been gained in the trading.
  How we see things is; "One thing leads to another". Either the spiral is down and in, always tighter and more fearful, or upward, expanding and found to be a great relief. Regardless, one thing always leads to another. With the light we have to see by, we note either the patch illuminated, or the much, much larger darkness. To "keep" (only) our set of wiww perspective, is to pay attention to the dark. We spiral in and down. But, what life is teaching us is; the patch can grow! It remains our responsibility to work to that end.
  Capitalists of the soul, entrepreneurs of the psyche, and so my reading of Matthew 25: 1-30 intends that we all so flourish, and "pick up a few things on the way". . . home!

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