Contributing Writer Paige Stepanian, ’21

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. As a childhood fable told throughout generations, this jovial tale reminds us of the time that slow and steady won the race. It shows us how far a little bit of hard work can go, and how damaging just a tad of laziness can be. You could even say that this short story embodies an inspiring quote from high school basketball coach, Tim Notke. He says, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. After all, if the hare had toiled his way to the finish line, wouldn’t he have been the victor of his metaphorical race?

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is one of the most well known artists of today’s world. According to Billboard Music, he has been on the Artist 100 Chart for the last 293 weeks. He has produced 38 of Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs, and sold over 150 million records worldwide. In 2014, Sheeran was televised as a special guest on The Jonathan Ross Show where he revealed a confession that shocked his fans and followers: At age 16, he still had not learned how to sing. A lot of times we consider well known singers like Ed Sheeran to be naturally gifted, or at least trained from a young age. This was not the case for Sheeran. “When people say artists are born with talent, you’re not,” he says. “You have to really learn and really practice.” Ed Sheeran’s success story is one that demonstrates the moral of the tortoise and hare: By working hard and focusing on your goal, you can do big things.

This comparison of hard work and talent is one that is seen all around us. It is apparent in pop culture, politics, and in the people we know and love. Talent is a gift. It can be practiced and used in a variety of ways, and is even associated with success when we think of celebrity athletes, singers, and artists. There are some who possess talent in distinct fields, however, who do not choose to put time or effort in towards their goals. In these situations, those who are hard working will often find greater happiness and success than those who rely on their natural born talent. So, yes, talent is beneficial- when it is used in the right way. Hard work on the other hand, will always be valuable, no matter the circumstance. With hard work comes failure, success, and growth. We learn from hard work, even in ways we’d never expect. Sometimes, we use enough of it to out-run those who were born with a head start.

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