Walter Russel Meade gets it:
The advice to make the most of your talents applies to everyone. If anything, people who are constantly being told in school and elsewhere that they are ‘too dumb’ are MORE likely to miss their hidden talents and abilities than those who are constantly being told how special they are. Not everybody is going to win a Nobel Prize, or quit their day job to write great novels, but almost all of us are capable of more success and happiness than we now enjoy.
Figuring out your real strengths and passions and having the courage to base career decisions on them does not just make sense for the budding Einsteins and investment bankers among us. It is about living your best life and honoring your Creator by placing the sum of your talents, be they great or small, in the common service as best you can.
Self improvement never has been and is not now a message solely for elites. The belief that ‘ordinary’ people can live better lives by dint of cultivating their talents and that the capacity for growth and self-direction of the ‘average’ American deserves respect is not, in my book, a mark of elitism.
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