Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rising to Your Own Level of Expectation

Why is it that some people attain great achievements in life and others circle the drain, while most of us just exist in some level of mediocrity? Statisticians tell us that the distribution of human characteristics is depicted as a bell shape curve. The mediocre are those massed in the middle of the graph, while the exceptional and the dregs are the trailing edges flanking out in opposite directions from the center peak as if an alluvial fan spreading out from a mountain.

As water seeks its own level, so too do we dependent upon the vision of oneself, the tenacity to achieve goals and good fortune or lack there of. The chairman of a college Department of Biology once told me that it takes average intelligence, lots of tenacity and someone to financially support you to successfully obtain a Ph.D. The same can be said for many professions in life: attorney; physician; legislator; scientist; author; artist; and professional entertainer or sports figure, to mention a few.

To excel to the top of a chosen field requires all of the minimum prerequisites plus an additional gift of talent, willingness for hard work, and time to accumulate experiences and insight.

Pulitzer Prize winner and columnist Al Martinez recently wrote about observations made while dawn approached and illuminated the awakening of a Pacific Ocean morning. His closing line wondered:

I drove home dreaming of the morning and wondering how I could put it into words.

I wrote Al and suggested that, “It’s a gift burnished by a lifetime of experiences.”

To which he replied,

I guess.

The attainment of a professional goal is but one segment, albeit a significant portion of the total persona. It’s as if the gemologist only cut and polished one facet of a diamond in the rough.

We are born with innate talents, the “gift,” and dependent upon the environmental crucible we will either progress toward our fullest potential or not. Regardless of individual potential, we are only able to rise to the maximum level of our personal expectations. How we identify ourselves within our physical environment is crucial to our self-image development and expectation fulfillment.

Humans are social creatures and everything that we do reflects to one degree or another on how we see ourselves interacting, our individual place, within our environment. The failure of parents to mirror high levels of personal expectation, and/or provide a nurturing environment insulating their progeny from an endemic corrosive atmosphere sets the stage for underachieving children. Expect little and get little. Certainly there are plenty of examples of children rising far above their roots, but these are the proverbial exceptions to the rule.

In the current world of rampant illegal drug experimentation and low social norms, it is exceedingly difficult for children to express their genetic potential. Swimming in a pool of low expectations, children not provided an optimal environment have the greatest potential to go down the drain.

With whom children associate in their formative years will often pre-ordain the eventual success of the child. While there is nothing intrinsically harmful about certain trends and fads involving tattoos, piercings, hair styles, music tastes and clothing, each of the foregoing play an essential part in developing a self-image and comfort level with certain segments of society. If a child sees himself as among the it’s not cool to get an education or I’d rather smoke dope, play video games, steal and/or emulate street gangsters, guess what you are likely to get. Low expectations yields low results.

The $64,000 question is how parents with their own low personal expectations provide a healthy, optimal environment for their children. It’s hard enough for parents with good expectations. If I could answer that one, I’d collect the $64,000 and a whole lot more.

Links in the blog:
The quiet of dawn speaks volumes