Talent vs Hard Work

The fable about a hare and tortoise depicts the race between talent and work.

Photograph: Gk Hart/vikki Hart/G

The fable about a hare and tortoise depicts the race between talent and work.

Suhani Bhanvadia, Photojournalist

Kevin Durant once said, “hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.” I believe those who work towards their goals will eventually get further than those who get lucky with the gift of talent. However, how does this fit into a school scenario?

From a young age, students begin to notice a difference between their peers who are doing well in school and those who are not. But later, as we mature, it is apparent that some students succeed by working harder than others. Eventually, some who have developed a good work ethic surpass their gifted peers who have fallen back on their talents and were lazy in their efforts. 

Some may say that talent has more value in high school because it allows students to relax while maintaining good grades and skills. Since these “gifted” students usually grow up being in their school’s “gifted” program or taking honors classes, they have no need to work hard since everything comes so easily to them. All high school students want a memorable experience. This seems like it would come effortlessly to talented students since they do not have to spend as much time working.

Yet for some, the downside to being talented is being bombarded in the future with the sudden need to work hard in order to succeed. While their studious peers are immersed in a familiar environment, talented and gifted students are surprised by having to manage a life that is no longer so laid back. Amber Han (10) adds that “high school might be easier for certain talented students to do well but real life is not something you can get away with talent. Hard work is a necessity for life outside of school and should not be overlooked by simple talent.”

Once we have graduated from high school, it is clear to see that hard workers will almost always succeed in the end. But what should you do if you come across a talented hard worker? Befriend them and encourage them. Third, learn from them. Although not all of us are born with talent, one can always build up a good work ethic. 

A popular fable that has taught us this simple lesson from when we were young, is one about the tortoise and the hare.  Although we all live in a difficult world, whether we are talented or not, hard work is something everyone can improve and rely on.