„If I have any talent at all, it is not for doing but for being.“

—  Quentin Crisp, Ch. 18
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Quentin Crisp1
1908 - 1999
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„Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.“

—  Doris Lessing British novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer 1919 - 2013
As quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) by Larry Chang, p. 660

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„I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn't know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.“

—  Bob Ross American painter, art instructor, and television host 1942 - 1995
Cathy Hainer (October 28, 1993) "PBS' stroke of serenity / Bob Ross brings brush of zen to 'Joy of Painting'", USA Today, p. 3D.

„I didn’t choose painting … It chose me. I didn’t have any talent. I just had genius.“

—  Grace Hartigan American artist 1922 - 2008
As quoted in "Grace Hartigan, 86, Abstract Painter, Dies" in The New York Times (18 November 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/arts/design/18hartigan.html?_r=2

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„Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred.“

—  Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996
p. 135

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„I was lucky enough to be born in a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financial system to let me do what I love doing — and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that.“

—  Warren Buffett American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist 1930
Context: I happen to have a talent for allocating capital. But my ability to use that talent is completely dependent on the society I was born into. If I’d been born into a tribe of hunters, this talent of mine would be pretty worthless. I can’t run very fast. I’m not particularly strong. I’d probably end up as some wild animal’s dinner. But I was lucky enough to be born in a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financial system to let me do what I love doing — and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that. To Barack Obama, as quoted in The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006), Ch. 5

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„Your born genius, therefore, will first have to ask himself, Whether he can hold his tongue or cannot? True, all human talent, especially all deep talent, is a talent to do, and is intrinsically of silent nature; inaudible, like the Sphere Harmonies and Eternal Melodies, of which it is an incarnated fraction.“

—  Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881
Context: Our English careers to born genius are twofold. There is the silent or unlearned career of the Industrialisms, which are very many among us; and there is the articulate or learned career of the three professions, Medicine, Law (under which we may include Politics), and the Church. Your born genius, therefore, will first have to ask himself, Whether he can hold his tongue or cannot? True, all human talent, especially all deep talent, is a talent to do, and is intrinsically of silent nature; inaudible, like the Sphere Harmonies and Eternal Melodies, of which it is an incarnated fraction.

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