Through the years, I have come to realize that being in the middle (or above average if suitable) has helped me develop a certain perspective about the hierarchy that is inevitably established in a given system or environment. This started out, as most things do, in school. While I have had the privilege to "run with" (take class with) some of the most brilliant minds I've met in my life in elementary school and high school, the point of view I've acquired is more so invaluable. The situation I have usually found myself in has helped me stay grounded, gain a grounded understanding of my capabilities and how I hone these through effort. I am actually in disbelief that a lot of my FB friends have turned out to be medical doctors, a bulk of whom are from my elementary school classroom, which makes me wonder if ever I stayed in the same school and didn't have to transfer, if the desire to pursue such a tedious (and of course well earned profession) would rub off on me. Would the inspiration and interest have stayed? For non-medical readers, however, I am in no way endorsing the positive high-brow stereotype or notion that the best minds in the populace are apt to end up as medical doctors. There are plenty of capable minds out there who consciously chose not to pursue a medical degree simply because it wasn't in their interest. Also, "conspiracy-theory-wise", who has been circulating this notion and biased belief anyway? The choice was theirs, or if I can humbly include myself please, ours to make. I have definitely met gifted individuals in elementary and high school who are uber smart yet have gone on to pursue other roles and professions in this world. Potential isn't and shouldn't be measured or limited to the standards and rigor of the classroom educational system.
There are talents, gifts, and abilities that people possess that do not necessarily adhere to the established educational system, yet inevitably provide value to society. The feeling of ineptitude suffered by those ranked low by the "academic food chain" should not mutate into a bitter belief that they are lesser human beings and are unworthy to step forth in society's "winner's circle", whatever that may be. Of course this notion or paradigm is being championed by society itself, so until standards and expectations are rationalized or realigned away from an intellectual-elitist's model, the so called "nonproficient tier" in the talent pool will exist.
There are occasionally irksome times when I find myself relegated under the standards and expectations of other people, which is a burden borne, I'm sure, by most of us. This situation might even be the inflection point on how people view themselves and their worth as human beings. This, IMO, is a tragedy in society because it easily alienates people, when in fact we should be celebrating the collaborative possibilities in store for us all, because we all have something to put on the table and offer to the world. In the words of Steve Jobs,
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice."
So what is the point of this declarative exercise? This is one of the points from where I had drawn the belief systems of humility and confidence and the power of choice.
I have come across this Yahoo article,
and I found it interesting that some of the comments/reactions that were made gave off the impression that these people were instead feeling bad and/or insecure about themselves. While the article of course glorifies a kid's giftedness, the realities of an average person's life is labeled insignificant to the "luck" that has befallen the subject of the article. In the (edited) words of a commentator, "This isn't a feel good story, it just makes me feel like a loser," and I felt it appropriate to do an intervention as a *cough* good deed for the day *cough*. I really can't say if I'm in a position to give advice, but I ran with it anyway as I filtered my ideas through my paradigm.
You know what bro, it's the struggle, the perseverance, and the effort you should be proud of. We are born with the cards and we really didn't have any control in how they were dealt, but the way we play is where we have the control. That's what I think we should be proud of when we get to a checkpoint or the finish line. Well, hopefully this counts as my good deed for the day, peace out!
The struggle, the daily grind, and the churn are where we draw from (through the years) the inspiration, dignity, self-respect, wisdom, and the graciousness to recognize the innate gifts that other people have as well, so that we are able to render to and reciprocate to them the respect we have for ourselves; knowing very well that the struggles in life aren't easy to face at all, but the will to put up with the everyday bullcrap hurled at us, whether through or by nature, circumstances, and even other people is a reflection of our purpose to better ourselves, to improve the lives of the people close to us and improve society. We all have problems and admiration is well deserved for people who have fought the good fight and did things the right way.
It's good to read stories like this once in a while, it helps people gain a certain perspective. This is more so significant for arrogant and self-absorbed people. There will always be bigger fish out there, hopefully this kid understands it too and makes use of his gifts responsibly, with humanity and society in mind.
All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2012. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.