We see this all the time. The latest for me was last night. If you happened to catch the "60 Minutes" segment on "Rodriguez" you proabably came away enriched. It's your basic rags to rags story about a much over-looked Musician/Artist who stays unknown in the US, but becomes a gigantic star in another country. But he never knew about it. He became a day laborer doing construction in Detroit. For 40 years. People thought he was either homeless, or soon-to-be. Finally, a DJ in South Africa tracks him down (not believing the rumors that he was dead by having set himself on fire during a concert), and Rodriguez goes to South Africa and sees that he has a huge following. He plays a concert or two, doesn't really make much money and goes back to being a day laborer. Of course, some unknown not-a-shiny-nickel-to-his-name-wannabe-filmmaker discovers him, makes a movie from his smart phone (he downloads a $1.00 app), and submits it to Sundance. Sundance gets their industrious underdog-loving hands on it, and Rodrigues is off and running..........

 

So now there's this and that about Rodrigues. 40 some odd years later. I mention this because the statement from a current Nobel Prize-Winner also highlights how rejection, or shall we say that early career discouragement (which is always bound to come) should never be enough to throw anyone off their horse. The price of recognition seemingly always comes with a pricetag that includes having your face shoved in the mud. You can almost expect it. Watching the "60 Minutes" segment last night could easily bring you to tears. But seeing how both men stayed true to their dreams, corny as it sounds, positively humbles you. Rodrigues has a shining humility that is a joy to behold. And our Nobel-Winner, Sir John Gurdon casually reflects on comments that may have been too much for others to overcome.

 

For each man, the road they continued on after their early setbacks was something, was someplace, that was clearly much more than a physical path. It was an interior landscape that no amount of "directions" or GPS assistance could map. Hooray for those who continue their journey.


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