"Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius." - Zero to One.
So, I was riding the train home to Brooklyn after a long day of work. I was hot, tired and sweaty. My hands were full with dry cleaning and my book bag and there were no seats open so I was standing for the whole, roughly sixty minute, commute.
Suddenly, after the train approached a stop, a young gal and guy boarded the train with a speaker and began to do a dance routine.
Now, I must preface here that, in New York, this is not out of the ordinary. On any given day, you may find someone with incredible skills get on the train and bust out in song, do acrobatic routines on the poles (most cases this gets admittedly annoying), or play an instrument etc. Or, they may not be as talented at all, but have a sob story or will just simply ask for change or food.
Something about these kids though stuck out. The girl couldn't have been older than 15 and the guy probably 17. The girl started first with here routine which included a show with a hat she was wearing. As this full train sat and watched in silence as she went about her practiced routine, she made what was an obvious mistake with the hat trick she tried to execute. It would have been a noticeably awkward moment, however, she did something very impressive. She clapped for herself and continued on. Her sidekick clapped as well and gave her words of encouragement. Afterwards the roles switched and he performed has she cheered him on.
Normally, I would just secretly admire the hustle and the NY state of mind, maybe throw some loose change in the hat, if I have, and keep it moving. This time though for whatever reason, I was additionally impressed with the sheer courage it took just to perform at the drop of a hat, pun intended, in front of a bunch of strangers. Maybe its easier when it's people you don't know? I'm not sure, all I know is, you can have all the talent, knowledge or skills in the world, but without the courage to start, you essentially have nothing. I threw them a $5, got off on my stop and headed home with a rejuvenated sense that all the hard work I put in will pay off soon. It has too.