The other day, while hosting his show on HBO, Bill Maher made the statement that he wished Americans would get over the exceptionalism thing. As much as I was put off by that unpatriotic blather it didn't stop me from reflecting how self deceived dear Bill is. It's exactly the exceptionalism he puts down that has him as the host of the show over someone else. His paycheck demands that he be heads above the competition, otherwise he wouldn't be the on TV. I can't help but wonder that if someone pointed that out to him and his audience of approvers, if they'd still be of the same opinion? Common sense is an elusive thing!
The exceptionalism issue came to mind after a Father's Day discussion with my youngest son. He's coaching his old high school football team while training for the upcoming football season with the soon to be formed NFL developmental league. Needless to say he's a bit unhappy with the level of performance and the attitude of the players at his old alma mater. Then this morning there was the information supplied on a television program that less than 5% of high school athletes ever play a down, set, or inning at the college level, and less than 1% excel at the college level. Every level of sports culls out the less able and moves the exceptional forward. Those who advance in the sporting arena, just as in life, are the best of the best. So the further back you go in that process the lower the level of talent and dedication.
Just like our own personal journey in self improvement, those who advance down that road are exposing their exceptionalism, and conversely those not as far down that road will not exude the same skill set nor attitude. It's important to remember, as I reminded my son, that someone had the patience with you as you made your journey, and it's critical for others to follow in your footsteps that you cede them that same patience. While not everyone has the same drive or will to succeed as you, your example may inspire them to strive for the next level. Keep that example a exemplarily one!
Life in America, much to Bill Maher's dismay, is all about exceptionalism. We are all called by our Creator to display the gifts He granted us, to do otherwise would be sinful as noted in the "seven deadly sins." If we cease to be exceptional, our income will suffer, our self esteem will diminish, and frankly our country will suffer. So my question to you is. Who does Bill Maher and effort less than exceptional serve? It's surely not honoring your Creator!