equally important to be

< Previous | Next >

Doggie doggie

Senior Member
chinese
There is an old saying that goes along the lines of " if it was easy, everyone would be doing it." While this might hold true for things like rocket science and brain surgery ( or, in my case, golf), not everything in life should be so difficult that only a selected few with outlandish skills and abilities, or years of obsessive study and dedication are able to derive any satisfaction. I firmly believe that it is equally important to be competent at many things as it is to excel at only one. Life has too many pleasures to offer.
Dear guys, after repeatedly reading this paragraph, I am still confused about the part in bold.May I rephrase it like this: I absolutely believe that if we can't be good at many things, we still can cope with only one. we still can enjoy life by any kind of success.
Do I grasp the gist of it. Any opinions are greatly appreciated.

DD
 
  • Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    No, I'm afraid you have not understood it. Your paraphrase is almost the opposite of the sentence given.

    The sentence given does not say we cannot be good at many things and "excel" (in the original) is not the same thing as "cope" (in your paraphrase). The sentence in the original about enjoying life is not related to success.

    It is a difficult passage.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Maybe it would easier if you took the sentence apart and looked at each section:
    I firmly believe
    that it is equally important
    to be competent at many things
    as it is
    to excel at only one.
    Life has too many pleasures to offer
    .

    If you are sure that you understand each chunk, maybe it will be easier to paraphrase the whole.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    This sentence leaves unspoken the thought that it would be a shame to miss any of them. Yes, I think you understood it well. :)
     

    Nzdancer

    Member
    English(NZ)
    Maybe it would easier if you took the sentence apart and looked at each section:
    I firmly believe
    that it is equally important
    to be competent at many things
    as it is
    to excel at only one.
    Life has too many pleasures to offer
    .

    If you are sure that you understand each chunk, maybe it will be easier to paraphrase the whole.
    I believe the parts you are struggling with are as follows, I will try and paraphase some to be as much help as possible =)


    that it is equally important to be competent at many things as it is
    to excel at only one.

    (that it is as important to be good at a lot of things as it is to be outstanding in only one)


    Life has too many pleasures to offer
    .
    ^This is more of an expression than something to be taken completely literaly, although I'm not entirely sure of the way it's meant to come across, someone else might have a better idea of it's meaning though.
     

    w120barby

    Senior Member
    Hi Doggie, I agree with your interpretation, but not totally.
    This is my interpretation:
    Life offers many opportunities.Whether you are interested in many different fields, or just in only one... (it depends on your own nature) it's important you can cope at least with only one.


    note:
    - "it is equally important... " not, as you said "if you can't.... at least...."
    - You have introduced the concept of "success" that is not present in the text, and could change the meaning.


    Doggie, thank you for this opportunity you gave me. :)
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Part of the trouble is that it's poorly written. If we boil it down, it actually says

    It is just as important to be fairly good at many things as it is to excel at one.

    Not the greatest philosophical insight ever given - and it has been expressed better. Here's Robert Heinlein:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, programme a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
    Specialization is for insects.
     
    Last edited:

    w120barby

    Senior Member
    note: the writer is a golf player :). At first I thought he expressed a deep concept of life, then I realized that when he speaks about the "pleasures that life can offer" probably he means hanging around the golf fields. ah ah
     
    Last edited:

    Doggie doggie

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Life offers many opportunities.Whether you are interested in many different fields, or just in only one... (it depends on your own nature) it's important you can cope at least with only one.
    w120barby, I agree with you entirely. Thanks.
     

    w120barby

    Senior Member
    "....it's important you can cope". The verb "cope" isn't a good choice, as Nunty underlined. :thumbsup: Better: excel. Actually I didn't know very well its meaning :eek:. Thank you, Nunty
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top