Tag Archives: ability

David Martín on Talent

“…there are a lot of people with talent and passion, and many of them never get anywhere. This is only the first step toward achieving anything in life. Natural talent is like an athlete’s strength. You can be born with more or less ability, but nobody can become an athlete just because he or she was born tall, or strong, or fast. What makes the athlete, or the artist, is the work, the vocation, and the technique. The intelligence you are born with is just ammunition. To achieve something with it you need to transform your mind into a high-precision weapon… Every work of art is aggressive… And every artist’s life is a small war or a large one, beginning with oneself and one’s limitations. To achieve anything you must first have ambition and then talent, knowledge, and finally the opportunity.”

— David Martín in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Angel’s Game, Act Two: “Lux Aeterna”, Chapter 5

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Filed under Life, Literature

Ragnar Danneskjöld on Robin Hood

“It is said that [Robin Hood] fought against the looting rulers and returned the loot to those who had been robbed, but that is not the meaning of the legend which has survived. He is remembered, not as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became the symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, has demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures — the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich — whom men have come to regard as a moral ideal. And this has brought us to a world where the more a man produces, the closer he comes to the loss of all his rights, until, if his ability is great enough, he becomes a rightless creature delivered as prey to any claimant — while in order to be placed above rights, above principles, above morality, placed where anything is permitted to him, even plunder and murder, all a man has to do is be in need. Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting… Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive.”

— Ragnar Danneskjöld in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Part II, Chapter VII

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July 10, 2009 · 2:46 pm

Dagny Taggart on Punishing Ability

“Nothing can make self-immolation proper. Nothing can give them the right to turn men into sacrificial animals. Nothing can make it moral to destroy the best. One can’t be punished for being good. One can’t be penalized for ability. If that is right, then we’d better start slaughtering one another, because there isn’t any right at all in the world!”

— Dagny Taggart in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Part I, Chapter IV

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July 10, 2009 · 11:08 am

Albus Dumbledore on Choices

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

— Albus Dumbledore in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, chapter 18

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July 11, 2007 · 2:36 pm