At first glance, Sherlock Holmes and the Beatles don’t have much in common. Okay, maybe not at second glance, either. And in absolute terms, they probably don’t. But I was thinking about them, and one thing led to another and I started thinking about potential.
Sherlock Holmes is, of course, the greatest literary detective ever (feel free to disagree, of course ;)). But I’ve never felt he lived up to his potential. Even as a little kid, I’d get this niggling feeling that Holmes could just be. . .better. I’m not saying that Doyle should have written him differently, I’m simply saying that if Holmes was a real person, he should have gotten counseling. I remember being about eleven, finishing a Holmes story, and thinking, “I wonder how many more cases he could solve if he wasn’t killing so many brain cells with crack.”
It’s sort of the same thing with the Beatles. They’re one of my favorite bands, but I often wonder how much more they could have accomplished, if there had been less LSD floating around.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say that. Easy to point fingers and say, “Come on, don’t waste your life.”
But then the question inevitably turns on me. Am I living up to my potential? Am I busy being about the business of my Father to the best of my ability? Am I using and practicing my gifts to the utmost?
Or am I wasting my life?
It’s the sort of question that’s like a having a root canal; unpleasant and perhaps even painful, but necessary. Because if the question’s not asked, you’ll never know the answer. And you can’t strive for something unless you realize that you don’t already have it.
So go on, ask yourself. Done that? Good.
You’re not happy with the answer? Don’t worry, neither am I. But now we’ve asked it. So now we can set out together on the path to achieving our potential.
Namarië from the Tale-Weaver.