Overcoming Flaws

It was a magnificent slate of marble and it promised to yield a statue that would be spectacular.  But two sculptors gave up on the project.  The flaws inside the slab made it unusable.  The slab remained untouched in a courtyard for 25 years.

A 26-year-old accepted the challenge to do something with the marble slab.  He spent 2 years on the project.  He rarely slept or ate for the two years.  He insisted that no one observe his work.

When he unveiled his work, his sponsors realized that what was before them was possibly the finest statue ever created.  In fact, Michelangelo’s David is still considered the finest statue of all time after 500 years since it was created.

Just imagine what was once considered a worthless slab of marble has become the finest sculpture of all time.  What others saw as flaws Michelangelo saw as distinctive opportunities that just needed to be brought out.

It’s ironic that when we see individual flaws, we tend to give up our faith in persons as the slab of marble. The marble slab that led to the greatest statue of all time was put aside for 25 years.

We all have flaws.  Some may be minor while others may be more serious.  Some flaws may be an unwillingness to conform to norms.  Some can be biological.  Whatever the nature of the flaws, there is no reason to discard the flawed individual as if they were a slab of marble.

Flaws often take the influence of a mentor to overcome.  Patience is also needed.  Progress is often not steady.  But there will come a time when the potential that was always there is revealed.

Just imagine a society which invests in overcoming flaws.  It’s an investment that our educational systems need to make.  It’s a chance that the private sector needs to make in its hiring and human development.  The potential is there, but will it be put aside as a slab of marble? Just imagine a judicial system which has a mission of helping those who get into trouble overcome their flaws? Just imagine a society where tolerance is accepted for those who made genuine efforts to overcome their flaws.

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“I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”  – Michelangelo

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