On ambition

I’m drinking a beer with a well-known author in a small Antwerp pub. We’re talking about the promotion tour surrounding his book launch. The endless queue of ill-prepared interviewers he has to work through.

Then he starts talking about a 20-something woman who works for a small magazine aimed towards the Christian community in our half-a-country Flanders.

She’s not ambitious, she proclaims. She knows real journalists look down on the medium she works for. Somewhere along the way she decided to stop caring. She likes the pace and the stability.

In front of her is a little notebook. In it, she has three pages with dutifully prepared questions. Above it, underlined with a ruler it reads “Questions for the author”.

It must be the most beautiful definition of ambition I have ever heard.

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