As part of my commitment to not sharing online too much of Chef Du Plunge’s short life (I figure he can make that choice himself in years to come, I have a suspicion that the current generation of “over-sharers” will find their enthusiasm… fraught… in years to come), I sent a copy of a short video of him “chatting” to me to a friend. She replied, flatteringly, that he was “beautiful, clearly advanced, and gifted”. My reply was, “but he’s only allowed to be one… which should be chose?”

While appearing facetious, the question is actually very serious.

Something great about international society is that you can succeed using only one of these attributes. Celebrity is frequently based on only slightly more than beauty, for example. In the modern world of careful media management we find beautiful people of barely recognisable talents making their way to fame and fortune with nary a sideways glance at the bucktoothed genii who may surround them, and by doing so will few raise to them a less-than perfectly formed eyebrow.

So which should he chose (were he old enough to actually make a choice, that is)?

My own preference is to not ever have to sacrifice one of these such things. Instead, I’ve worked hard to be all things to all men. Not in a superficial manner, but in a manner that both puts others at ease, and allows me to easily adapt to both others’ needs and their mores. And in a career of me that has spanned many different occupations, it’s been a trait that has held me in good stead.

But there is nothing to say that Chef Du Plunge will ever have to be a Jack of All Trades. In the future world, the one the other side of the nascent financial reckoning (like the high times of the 1980s, that lending-fuelled party was never going to last), it may well be that making a choice of one of these things could suffice?

So should he chose ‘gifted’? Would intelligence be enough to get you by in the coming future, with it’s technology, technologic society; it’s rapidly adaptive pace of life?

I’m not sure that it would. Personally my IQ usually rates just the high side of normal in any test I might be presented. Genious I am not, nor gifted. What I am is an extremely fast learner. Sometimes. Sometimes not. Languages (and things like names) being a pertinent example. But learning fast, and being highly amenable to change, is what has got me by. I have frequently been surrounded by people I consider far more intelligent than myself, and not always while feeling completely comfortable (smart people intimidate me).

And that is the nature of the, dare I say it, sibyllene complement paid to Chef Du Plunge. Which should he chose? Because any one of these things might be enough to limit him in some way, while propelling him in others.

A fascinating and compelling problem.

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