I remember those days when, in a bid to be NBA’s next prodigy, I’d try to spin a basketball endlessly on my finger. Not exactly a skill I could list on my resume, but a peculiar talent that always managed to make Coach Chapa’s eyebrows soar to astronomical heights. Not the most useful talent, perhaps, but that’s not the point.
We’re not all destined for the spotlight of Carnegie Hall or the praise of Michelin-starred critics, but that doesn’t mean our particular quirks aren’t worthy. They Might Be Giants, in their song “Whistling in the Dark”, resonate with a sentiment akin to my basketball adventures: there’s beauty in embracing the one thing you do best, especially if that one thing is being unapologetically you.
“There’s only one thing that I know how to do well, And I’ve often been told that you only can do, What you know how to do well, And that’s be you, Be what you’re like, Be like yourself.”
These lines preach a sermon of individuality. They speak to our idiosyncrasies, the weird, wonderful talents that set us apart from the faceless crowd.
Imagine if Mozart, having penned his latest symphony, thought, “Maybe I should switch to spinning basketballs on my finger?” We might’ve been deprived of his Requiem and instead witnessed him trying to join the Harlem Globetrotters. As entertaining as that sounds, it’s a vivid reminder: stick to what you know, and know yourself well.
In the grand mosaic of life, where every tile represents a unique talent or trait, there’s a place for everyone. Not because we’ve forced ourselves into a particular design, but because we shine brightest when we’re authentically ourselves.
As the lyrics of They Might Be Giants remind us, the world doesn’t need another copy. It needs originality. It needs you, in all your basketball-spinning glory. So, go on, spin that ball or whistle your tune. Because no one does ‘you’ better than…well, you.