Monday, November 4, 2013

Thoughts on Seabiscuit: The Importance of Team

As I am reading Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, there are many wonderful nuggets jumping off the pages.  I will do my best to share several of these with you in upcoming posts.  For now, I want to simply state the obvious point that the story makes: there is a strength and richness in a team that far exceeds the talents and gifts of the individual members.

Seabiscuit (the story) is really about four characters-- the owner, the trainer, the jockey and the horse. Hillenbrand does a wonderful work of introducing the audience to each one.  Not surprisingly, we find that each character, certainly with his own gifts and potential, was on a downhill slide-- not a complete failure, but far from where he dreamed he would be.

I love the way Hillenbrand ends chapter 6: "The scattered lives of Red Pollard, Tom Smith, and Charles Howard had come to an intersection. Their crowded hour had begun" (113). We see a wonderful picture of the convergence of gifts, talents, and shared ambition. We see the birth of a team-- the birth of a legend.

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