One major idea in the memoir "No Gumption" by Russell Baker is that of adaptability. In this excerpt, his mother is convinced that the author's future is that of business, and she pushes him towards trying harder and harder to succeed. Although he tries to do it for a long time, he does not have the talent or the interest necessary to succeed in that area. The mother, however, is adaptable, as she changes her mind in light of new evidence. When the author's teacher praises his work, his mother examines it, and when she agrees, she realizes that maybe her son's skills are better used in a different area. This is exemplified by the line: "Nothing more was said about it immediately, but a new idea had taken life in her mind". This sentence shows that the author's mother can reexamine her assumptions and create new ideas based on new evidence, which is the mark of adaptability.