The Untangling of the Intangibles

One of the interesting things about our humanity, I believe, is that we are all unique combinations of shared human qualities.  We are all constructed from the same bag of marbles.  What makes us unique is not the fact of the marbles…but which marbles we have at our disposal.

Do kids even play with marbles anymore or have they been banished as choke hazards or something?  Parents let me know.  I hope we haven’t lost our marbles.

I’ve heard it said that a particular athlete isn’t the biggest or the strongest or the fastest in the field but he has “all the intangibles”!  And THAT, it is explained, is what makes him special.

That description just sounds lazy, right?  No need for all this mystery!  Figure it out!  Think through it…the answer is there.  You just might have to work for it a little bit.

INTANGIBLE – Not definite or clear to the mind.

We all have these “intangibles”.  It is what makes us…

…human.

There are people (bags of marbles) whose job it is to nail down these intangibles.  NFL talent scouts watch hours of tape to project an athletes likely success or failure in the league.  Head hunting firms provide lists of candidates to companies seeking just the right fit for a position in their organization.  Dating sites attempt to unravel the mystery of what will make for a successful human relationship.

The Pursuit of Happiness

And, of course, they have perfected the science of identifying precisely what combination of marbles will make the perfect quarterback, CEO, or spouse.

Not even close….thankfully.

I say untie the drawstring and let the marbles spill out onto the floor.  There will be the sound of glass marbles clinking and scattering.  There will be the sight of a rogue marble or three escaping to establish a new life under a couch on the other side of the room.  And there will be that one special marble that captures your heart in a way that is “not clear to the mind”.

What say we leave the intangibles a little tangled.  To do otherwise would be a marble lost I fear.

 

KenCatmull.com

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