Talent versus interests

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Some of us feel most comfortable when we specialise in particular areas or aspects of a skill, while others need to diversify their interests in order to maintain keen levels of engagement.

Depending on the culture that we live in, one approach could be more favoured than another. This could mean that the specialist is valued for his, her or their focused commitment more than the practitioner who has a wider range of interests.

There was a year when two well known British actors were in the frame for Academy Awards in the USA for their work in films. One of them was nominated for two performances and the other for one.

The performer with one nomination is renowned as a classical actor and for playing many roles in plays by Shakespeare. The other actor is known for work that could be regarded as middle brow in the UK. In the end, the middle brow artist won the Oscar.

I remember reflecting about how differently the two actors might have been assessed if the judges were British. There is a lot to be said for the depth and weightiness of specialising in high brow expressive arts, but out in the real world, talent should be recognised and applauded for what it is, regardless of class issues. Is it possible that British politicians could learn useful tips from this example?