All That Potential...

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LittleMermaid

Guest
#1
So I was watching the movie "Zookeeper" last night. Kevin James' character is dumped by his girlfriend for being a zookeeper. His girlfriend wants a guy with money and constantly talks about all the "potential" Griffin (Kevin's character) has. She said she loved him and wanted to marry him at the end of the movie...but only after he changed his career to please her. Griffin looks in the mirror and realizes that he's not happy anymore.

It got me thinking about how we view relationships. All those with "potential," seem like a good fit for us...but only after they make a few changes. I'll be honest, I've done this many times. I meet a guy and even if I find something about him that I don't like...I assume he will change and be better once we get married. :eek::p It's a silly and immature thing to do...I know. But I am starting to realize that it's quite common.

So my questions are...
Why can't we accept someone for who they are instead of trying to put them in a box of "potential?" Why can't we admit that we ourselves have untapped potential and maybe we are happy not tapping into it...just like Griffin.
In the movie, Griffin was a successful salesman. He was making dough! But he wasn't happy because his true passion was being a zookeeper.

Here is the trailer for the movie. I recommend it, it's cute!
 
U

Ugly

Guest
#2
Actually this tends to be a predominately female trait. Women marry men expecting to change them. Men marry women expecting them to never change.
Just as the movie states, women tend see men as potential.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
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#3
I agree that if you are interest in someone you should accept them for who they are but also accept that they may never change to your liking. There is nothing wrong with seeing potential in someone at all just realize that the potential may never be realized.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,574
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#5
This is a really interesting thread, Little Mermaid.

While I have to agree to some extent that women look at potential because men are supposed to be providers, nowadays, with the need for two-income households being almost a necessity, I have to think that it's becoming an attitude across both genders.

Most men I know are looking for a woman who's going to bring home at least a couple slices of cheddar, if not the whole wheel.

For example, I worked with a guy who was known to have a troubled relationship, and when asked if he was going to leave, he said, "Heck no. She's gonna be banking in two years (graduating and presumably getting a well-paying job), so all I need to do is wait until then."

And now I'm going to have to remember to ask my Mom about this thread topic sometime, and if she ever thought about my Dad's "potential." She met my Dad when she was 13 and he was 15 and working as a bagger in a grocery store. When she was 16, she begged my Grandpa to let her go to a basketball game with my Dad at school. He picked her up in a beaten-up car that was so loud (and not on purpose) that you could hear it coming from the other side of a hill.

A few years later, she married my Dad, and he was still working in that grocery store. He never left, and is one of the few people still around who worked for and with the original founder of that chain of stores.

But my parents had no idea what their future was going to be at the time. Their first "house" was a $5000 trailer. I asked my Mom once if she ever thought their lives would turn out the way they did and she said, "Oh no--I thought I'd be living in that trailer for the rest of my life!"

But obviously, she didn't care about any of that. All she cared about was that she was going to be with my Dad, building a life together, whatever it looked like, and serving God as they went, and God did all the rest.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
2,904
831
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#6
This is a really interesting thread, Little Mermaid.

While I have to agree to some extent that women look at potential because men are supposed to be providers, nowadays, with the need for two-income households being almost a necessity, I have to think that it's becoming an attitude across both genders.

Most men I know are looking for a woman who's going to bring home at least a couple slices of cheddar, if not the whole wheel.

For example, I worked with a guy who was known to have a troubled relationship, and when asked if he was going to leave, he said, "Heck no. She's gonna be banking in two years (graduating and presumably getting a well-paying job), so all I need to do is wait until then."

And now I'm going to have to remember to ask my Mom about this thread topic sometime, and if she ever thought about my Dad's "potential." She met my Dad when she was 13 and he was 15 and working as a bagger in a grocery store. When she was 16, she begged my Grandpa to let her go to a basketball game with my Dad at school. He picked her up in a beaten-up car that was so loud (and not on purpose) that you could hear it coming from the other side of a hill.

A few years later, she married my Dad, and he was still working in that grocery store. He never left, and is one of the few people still around who worked for and with the original founder of that chain of stores.

But my parents had no idea what their future was going to be at the time. Their first "house" was a $5000 trailer. I asked my Mom once if she ever thought their lives would turn out the way they did and she said, "Oh no--I thought I'd be living in that trailer for the rest of my life!"

But obviously, she didn't care about any of that. All she cared about was that she was going to be with my Dad, building a life together, whatever it looked like, and serving God as they went, and God did all the rest.
Wait so are you saying that maybe we should marry someone because we like them as a person.... not because of all the stuff they can do for us? So if only I liked people in general a little more I might have a chance :p
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,136
1,930
113
#7
Actually this tends to be a predominately female trait. Women marry men expecting to change them. Men marry women expecting them to never change.
Just as the movie states, women tend see men as potential.
Yup, that's what I heard.
Men marry women expecting them to never change.
Women marry men expecting them to change.
Both are disappointed.

For an observation that has not yet been made, all I have to offer is the following: Just because somebody has potential for something doesn't mean he wants to or should do it. Many people have told me that various test scores indicate I could have been a whole lot of different things. Currently I work transition and grill at a McDonald's and I'm content with that. I could be a manager of a business, a high school math teacher, all kinds of things, but just because I have that potential does not mean I should be any of those things. Those jobs cause a lot of stress, of which I want no part.

The reason I mention this is because some people seem to think one is somehow obliged to do things just because he is able to. By some people's reasoning, just because I have the ability to be a math teacher somehow confers a responsibility to be a math teacher. To some people my lack of interest in doing something like that is an outright failure. All that potential, and I'm just wasting it!
 
Aug 2, 2009
22,419
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#8
So I was watching the movie "Zookeeper" last night. Kevin James' character is dumped by his girlfriend for being a zookeeper. His girlfriend wants a guy with money and constantly talks about all the "potential" Griffin (Kevin's character) has. She said she loved him and wanted to marry him at the end of the movie...but only after he changed his career to please her. Griffin looks in the mirror and realizes that he's not happy anymore.

It got me thinking about how we view relationships. All those with "potential," seem like a good fit for us...but only after they make a few changes. I'll be honest, I've done this many times. I meet a guy and even if I find something about him that I don't like...I assume he will change and be better once we get married. :eek::p It's a silly and immature thing to do...I know. But I am starting to realize that it's quite common.

So my questions are...
Why can't we accept someone for who they are instead of trying to put them in a box of "potential?" Why can't we admit that we ourselves have untapped potential and maybe we are happy not tapping into it...just like Griffin.
In the movie, Griffin was a successful salesman. He was making dough! But he wasn't happy because his true passion was being a zookeeper.

Here is the trailer for the movie. I recommend it, it's cute!
I saw that movie too. At first I thought it had great potential.... but after awhile I accepted the fact that it was a dud... :( King of Queens was one of my favorite shows.
 
L

LittleMermaid

Guest
#9
I saw that movie too. At first I thought it had great potential.... but after awhile I accepted the fact that it was a dud... :( King of Queens was one of my favorite shows.
Aw really? I thought it was a really cute movie. But my brother always makes fun of me because I like "stupid" movies. :rolleyes:
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,574
1,816
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#11
All that potential, and I'm just wasting it!
This thread brings up another interesting point.

It's one thing if a potential date doesn't think we're living up to our potential, but what about if God thinks we're wasting our potential?

After all, Moses probably would have been content to herd sheep for the rest of his life, but God saw his potential, and was determined to push Moses into making full use of it, even though Moses protested all the way. I'm pretty sure that leading Israel out of Egypt and then putting up with them in the desert for 40 years was a lot more stressful than dealing with sheep.

I'm listening to a sermon series right now that reminds us that "the Bible isn't about a bunch of rich guys on vacation sipping umbrella drinks." Even the people whom God did bless materially in the Bible were given very stressful assignments and difficult hurdles to overcome.

I have to think of the parable of the master and the talents that he gave to his servants. The master was very pleased with the servants who doubled their talents, but called the one who buried his talent in the ground to give it back to the master "wicked" and "lazy".

Like Lynx, I chose a career path that would probably be seen as wasting my potential, and I often wonder if God thinks this about me as well.

I agree that it doesn't matter so much what other people think, but how do we know if God thinks we're wasting the potential that He gave us?
 
U

Ugly

Guest
#12
This is a really interesting thread, Little Mermaid.

While I have to agree to some extent that women look at potential because men are supposed to be providers, nowadays, with the need for two-income households being almost a necessity, I have to think that it's becoming an attitude across both genders.

Most men I know are looking for a woman who's going to bring home at least a couple slices of cheddar, if not the whole wheel.

For example, I worked with a guy who was known to have a troubled relationship, and when asked if he was going to leave, he said, "Heck no. She's gonna be banking in two years (graduating and presumably getting a well-paying job), so all I need to do is wait until then."

And now I'm going to have to remember to ask my Mom about this thread topic sometime, and if she ever thought about my Dad's "potential." She met my Dad when she was 13 and he was 15 and working as a bagger in a grocery store. When she was 16, she begged my Grandpa to let her go to a basketball game with my Dad at school. He picked her up in a beaten-up car that was so loud (and not on purpose) that you could hear it coming from the other side of a hill.

A few years later, she married my Dad, and he was still working in that grocery store. He never left, and is one of the few people still around who worked for and with the original founder of that chain of stores.

But my parents had no idea what their future was going to be at the time. Their first "house" was a $5000 trailer. I asked my Mom once if she ever thought their lives would turn out the way they did and she said, "Oh no--I thought I'd be living in that trailer for the rest of my life!"

But obviously, she didn't care about any of that. All she cared about was that she was going to be with my Dad, building a life together, whatever it looked like, and serving God as they went, and God did all the rest.
Except money isn't often the issue. Even when choosing among wealthy men women still have a tendency to desire to change them. So financially may have some affect much of it is not financially based.
As one woman stated when asked why she was choosing rich men she said it was so when she changed him he could afford everything she wanted to change about him. =P
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,136
1,930
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#13
seoulsearch: Well there you get into differing definitions of what "success" is. What is your goal for life, what do you want to be able to look back on and say "this is what I have accomplished with my life"? Is it making a lot of money, or being really important in your society, or being really strong, or what?

I have many potentials that I have not filled because they are not things I think are important in life. I seem to be outvoted by the majority who keep complaining about my wasted potential.
 

Jewel5712

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2018
4,091
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#14
Been there done that..no one really changes but yet we spend so much time and energy sometimes TRYING to change them and less time trying to accept them for who they are. Someone told me that if you find someone 80% of "great match" 20% isnt that bad to accept since no one is perfect. Ive found a lot of "almosts" in the dating world..
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,574
1,816
113
#16
seoulsearch: Well there you get into differing definitions of what "success" is. What is your goal for life, what do you want to be able to look back on and say "this is what I have accomplished with my life"? Is it making a lot of money, or being really important in your society, or being really strong, or what?

I have many potentials that I have not filled because they are not things I think are important in life. I seem to be outvoted by the majority who keep complaining about my wasted potential.
Hey Lynx,

My last post wasn't about success at all. It's still about potential.

I'm sure most people saw Moses as having wasted his potential. After all, he was adopted by an Egyptian princess, which made him royalty, and fluent in both Hebrew and Egyptian language and culture, with access to anything and everything he would need in this life.

Then he murdered an Egyptian for the sake of a fellow Hebrew and fled to the desert, eventually finding a job tending sheep for his father-in-law. Most people would have said that Moses wasted his potential, and that his life had become a failure.

But Moses seemed content with his quiet, low-profile new life, and it also seems he would have been perfectly happy to stay that way. Moses didn't care about his supposed potential or what other people thought would make his life successful. And if he were just any other person, maybe that would have been all right with God, as well.

But Moses' acceptance of a less-stressful life was not at all what God wanted for him, and Moses fought him all the way. It didn't matter how others defined potential or success, all that mattered was how God defined it, and God obviously did not want Moses to just sit around watching sheep for the rest of his life.

God wanted him to fulfill his potential. And likewise, Moses' greatest success in life was not all of his accomplishments--his greatest success was following God's will for his life, even though God pretty much had to strong arm him to do it.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
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#17
Hey Lynx,
My last post wasn't about success at all. It's still about potential.
The reason I mention success is because I think what people see as "successful" is what they use to measure how much potential they think somebody has. Different people see different potential in almost everything and everybody, because they have different ideas of what is important and what is ultimately successful in life.

At the end of Moses' life there would probably be some people who would still deem his whole life a failure, because he didn't die rich and comfortable in Pharaoh's palace. What a waste of potential. Even if they read the Bible, the things Moses accomplished wouldn't be important to them. To other people Moses' life was a big success, and they would have considered it a waste of potential if Moses had remained in the palace.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,136
1,930
113
#18
And of course this whole thread reminds me of a song.


Well I know a doctor, a fine young physician
Left his six figure job for a mission position
He's healing the sick in an African clinic
He works in the dirt and writes home to the cynics
He says, 'We work through the night so most everyday
As we watch the sun rise we can say'

Seize the day
Seize whatever you can
Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand
Seize the day
Pray for grace from God's hand
And nothing will stand in your way
Seize the day

I know a man who's been doing some thinking
He's as bitter and cold as the whiskey he's drinking
He's talking 'bout fear, about chances not taken
If you listen to him you can hear his heart breaking
He says, 'One day you're a boy and the next day you're dead
I wish way back when someone had said'
 

Jewel5712

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2018
4,091
2,246
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#19
The reason I mention success is because I think what people see as "successful" is what they use to measure how much potential they think somebody has. Different people see different potential in almost everything and everybody, because they have different ideas of what is important and what is ultimately successful in life.

At the end of Moses' life there would probably be some people who would still deem his whole life a failure, because he didn't die rich and comfortable in Pharaoh's palace. What a waste of potential. Even if they read the Bible, the things Moses accomplished wouldn't be important to them. To other people Moses' life was a big success, and they would have considered it a waste of potential if Moses had remained in the palace.
I think sometimes a mans point of view is to measure "success" in life monitarily since they originally were supposed to be the providers for thier family..
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,136
1,930
113
#20
I think sometimes a mans point of view is to measure "success" in life monitarily since they originally were supposed to be the providers for thier family..
Quote for the day: "Whoever dies with the most toys, wins."

i never did figure out what the person with the most toys wins when he dies though, and I'm afraid to ask.