Let the Kid Play


Remember when you were a kid, there was always someone who got chosen last in choosing up sides? Or someone who was never asked to dance? Maybe it was even you.

Vincent van Gogh died at 37 with 2,100 finished artworks piled up… but nary a nod of recognition or a decent sale. The world had already decided who could play in the arts and who couldn’t. Nobody let the kid play.

Sylvester Stallone was overlooked so many times he sold his beloved dog for $25 just so he could eat. Even after he wrote and sold his screenplay, “Rocky,” the studio didn’t want him to act in it.

“Slow,” socially awkward, often lonely children included late bloomers like Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and Whoopi Goldberg. Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 before she could sell her “Little House on the Prairie” books.

Imagine our world if we “let the kid play” before turning up our noses. Maybe we’d be 1,000 years farther along in our civilization by now

What if the entire world hadn’t kept half the human race off the playing field for the last 10,000 years? We’ve turned up our noses on a lot of talent. Isn’t it about time we let the other kids play? Fortunately, we have started, but we’re not done yet…

Join the Jamestown Gazette this week in celebrating International Women’s Day. Read all about it on the front page.

We will always choose up teams, in sports and in work, for excellence, courage and integrity. You can meet some of our own very best on the sports page this week; the 2012 inductees in the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. You can nominate your own favorite for induction, too, as someone did for Dunkirk’s Jen Suhr, years before she won her own Olympic Gold.

Next time you’re choosing up sides, why not let the kid play, even if he or she hasn’t proven anything yet. Undiscovered talent has turned into a winner many more times than you’d think.

Enjoy the read,

Walt Pickut


The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.