Bertoldo de Giovanni is a name even the most enthusiastic lover of art is unlikely to recognize. He was the pupil of
Donatello, the greatest sculptor of his time, and he was the teacher of Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor of all time. Michelangelo
was only 14 years old when he came to Bertoldo, but it was already obvious that he was enormously gifted. Bertoldo was wise
enough to realize that gifted people are often tempted to coast rather than to grow, and therefore he kept trying to pressure his
young prodigy to work seriously at his art.
One day he came into the studio to find Michelangelo toying with a piece of sculpture
far beneath his abilities. Bertoldo grabbed a hammer, stomped across the room, and smashed the work into tiny pieces, shouting
this unforgettable message, "Michelangelo, talent is cheap; dedication is costly!"
Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence.
We have nothing to do with how much ability we've got, or how little, but with what we do with what we have. The man with
great talent is apt to be puffed up, and the man with little (talent) to belittle the little. Poor fools! God gives it,
much or little. Our part is to be faithful, doing the level best with every bit and scrap. And we will be if Jesus' spirit
S.D. Gordon, The Bent-knee Time.