Anna Deavere Smith on Discipline and How We Can Learn to Stop Letting Others Define Us

by Maria Popova

“Art should take what is complex and render it simply. It takes a lot of skill, human understanding, stamina, courage, energy, and heart to do that. It takes, most of all, what a great scholar of artists and educators, Maxine Greene, calls ‘wide-awakeness’ to do that. I am interested in the artist who is awake, or who wants desperately to wake up.

“Confidence is a static state. Determination is active. Determination allows for doubt and for humility — both of which are critical in the world today. There is so much that we don’t know, and so much that we know we don’t know. To be overly confident or without doubt seems silly to me.

“Determination, on the other hand, is a commitment to win, a commitment to fight the good fight.”

~ Anna Deavere Smith

Photo of #7 Tori Bowie winning a 100 meter race by .01 of a second

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