Achievement on whose terms?

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Everyone should have an idea of what it feels like to be programmed or conditioned into measuring achievement, based on external terms of reference.

Musicians from a particular era were disdainful towards younger emerging talents who they described as “one finger merchants”. There was a lot of truth in the descriptive language used, but the older artists were possibly missing the point, in focusing on technical skills, instead of considering the significance of creative energy and expressive range that some of the younger musicians possessed.

After a while, the terms of reference for the older musicians became obsolete, so they had to find ways of remaining relevant, through aligning themselves with the artists of their generation who had managed to stand out for the strength of their ideas.

On the other side of the fence, it is also easy for younger artists to scoff at the outmoded ways of those who came before them. Very few of us realise that we will all go through the same process eventually.

Fashion and trends will always occupy some of the available space in our cultures. Timeless expression might not be as groovy, sexy or exciting on the surface, but it tends to prevail in the long run.