Friday, January 11, 2008

The miracle of Mario Balotelli

I often wonder how people who have a calling in life go about finding it. It's practically a given for a doctor's daughter to decide she wants to dedicate her life to medicine, but what if a person's environment does not expose her to what she was meant to do? How many potential cello virtuosos are out there who have never heard of a cello, and will therefore never know that they possess an extraordinary talent?

Luca thinks that it’s inevitable; that people and their callings find each other through a cosmic, magnetic pull. Take Mario Balotelli. Mario was born in Sicily, the son of two immigrants from Ghana. He was entrusted to the Balotelli family when he was three years old, and moved with them to Brescia. Growing up in Italy, he was exposed to soccer throughout his life. He is now signed up by the Internazionale (one of the best teams in the world) in a three-year deal, the maximum allowed for a player of his age. He has scored 19 goals in 18 league matches - a football phenomenon.

On the other hand, it is my opinion that the forces of nature are indifferent towards the task of matching people with what they are supposed to be doing with themselves. There are thousands of human beings out there stumbling through life, missing their destiny entirely. Think about it: among a daunting number of passions, and an equally astounding number of places where you could end up, your calling has to match not only your surroundings but a specific moment in history. It's possible, for example, for a spectacular software developer to have been born two hundred years before computers were ever invented.

Believing that the odds are staggeringly narrow does not make me jaded but rather wide eyed to recognizing the presence of a miracle when I see the mission and the person somehow finding each other’s eyes across a crowded room.

(Photo: Mario Balotelli's home page)


Anonymous said...

This premise has been treated in books and films in other contexts, for example, two people who might have fallen in love being born in the wrong century. Then there's the counterpart: a fixed idea regarding a physical or social phenomenon before the discovery of something, or the birth of someone, who will change it radically, e.g. Newton, or Galileo. In the final analysis, we have to play with the hand we're dealt. So if you still think the earth rotates around the sun or the earth is flat, and you've never entered the game with an open mind, you may have problems.

sencho said...

I totally agree with Luca.

Good luck to Mario - he is a very promising chap indeed!

Miguel Cane said...

Dear Dushka,

I wholeheartedly agree with Luca.

I came from a middle-class home with very little artistic inclination -- sure, my grandfather loved movies and painting, and was encouraging, but I lost him at a very tender age...- and more than enough prejudice towards both homosexuality and writers.

And I've become a professional writer, and I've embraced my homosexuality completely.

It was a very long and difficult journey. But it was rewarding. I was pulled towards narrative... there's no way in the world I could do anything else.

Much love, to both
(and CM too!)


Anonymous said...

Dushka, you should look up the book "The man who knew infinity". It's the bio of Ramanujan, an Indian math whiz who "discovered" many math concepts by himself. A Cambridge prof. got a hold of him and brought him to the UK, where his math improved. His life story is a lot more complex, but he is one of those people who are born either in the wrong place or time. Fortunately for the world, he was "found".



Dushka said...

Both Miguel and Ramanujan are incredibly lucky fellows.

David said...

Would a computer programmer born in 1800 not simply have become a steam engineer, thereby participating equally fully a seismic industrial shift in society. Or am I missing the point? ;-)

Sam said...

I tend to lean on the belief that at one point or another there is convergence between you and your calling. What seems to be the real predicament is the impulse to either jump or not to jump into the opportunity. Way to often pre-conditioning, habit and fear play a horrendous game and the window of opportunity may quickly disappear. Also, perhaps there is not just one exclusive calling that we may have. Life is way to dynamic and so are we. So you see if you were born 200 years ago it would have been consciously impossible to be a great computer engineer but certainly that person may have been the very best one. Then again, perhaps at different points in his natural life he could have been the very best pastry chef , professor, politician , etc.