First off, let me say I originally wrote this on April 18, 2011. However, I believe its wording made me seem like a snobby git. So I am re-writing it now. The general idea remains the same.
It’s rare that you will hear me say that, but it is true. I’m not a big fan of luck because I generally consider luck to be something for people who wait for things to happen to them (not that I never do this). But some things really are luck: lottery tickets of course, but more serious things. I realized more and more every day that I am lucky. I am lucky because I didn’t work for my intellect; I just got it. I am lucky because I didn’t work for a supportive mother who always made me strive to be better; I just had her. Well actually, she had me =P
But seriously, I see it where I use to simply see lack of initiative or dedication. Yes, that can explain some things, especially for the brilliant people here who simply have no work ethic, but that’s not always enough. I grasp things quickly and I am capable of learning a lot of different material. Not everyone is so lucky. When I think about this I have to remind myself that no matter how hard I try I will not be great at math. I just can’t picture it, and if I can’t picture it I usually can’t understand it.
Until college I lived in a world of ignorance. I denied the fundamental tenants of nature that tell us that everyone is not equally endowed. I was much easier for me to assume my successes resulted from my hard work and that others’ struggles were purely their own fault. It is much, much harder to admit that much of my success comes from factors I have no control over.
This means I need to be more patient. I must realize that in some things I will learn faster and comprehend easier than others, and I cannot hold unfair expectations. After all, I wouldn’t want someone to make me feel bad about myself just because I couldn’t keep up in math class. Actually, thinking about Calc II here at Gettysburg I struggled so much to keep on top of the concepts. Without Becky Deffler and Ron Malone I would not have survived. Those two kept me afloat and I owe my success in that class entirely to them I love you two!
Developing this understanding is a continual process made much stronger by the people I care about. I see them outwit me a million times over, but then have no clue what I’m talking about on other subjects. It made me realize you can be absolutely brilliant and still completely clueless.
There are really two different comparisons at work here: comparing myself to those who are equally successful but in other areas, and comparing those who might be considered less successful (by traditional standards at least). And what it all comes down to is this: we are all very, very different. And we need to embrace that in each other, or we will never be able to respect one another in order to move forward for the common good.