Henry Jacobs and Brianna Hopkins were about to begin their third interview. Brianna was especially interested in Henry’s thoughts on the lack of societal acceptance of talent purely based upon prejudice. She was also interested in how he was preparing his residents for the challenges of acceptance.
BH: As you saw in the stories I sent you, talent is often hard to accept when prejudice is involved. What impact do you think that has on the advancement of society?
HJ: If you are expecting me to give you an economic estimate, you will be disappointed. Likewise, I won’t answer your question by talking about advances to society. The real impact is on the individual. I recall your first freelance story was rejected largely. You wrote the story from the perspective of a woman. What impact did that have on you?
BH: It was terrible. I began to doubt myself. I’m not sure if I would have continued if you had not prepared me to expect rejection.
HJ: Now think back to your formal education. Were you ever taught how to handle rejection as an improvement process?
BH: Never. In fact, bad grades were something we were told to be ashamed of.
HJ: When you came here, what did I tell you about rejection?
BH: You said it was an opportunity to discover and develop my talent.
HJ: Now tell me more about how you handled that first rejection.
BH: I became more determined to grow my talent as a writer. I remembered your words: “There is no growth in grieving or being resentful”.
HJ: Did you feel that prejudice was involved in your rejection?
BH: To be honest, yes, I did. But that just made me more determined to grow my talent.
HJ: You started today’s interview by asking how much the failure to discover and develop talent had on society. I told you I wasn’t going to answer that question. But what I will tell you is that society’s failure to help its citizens discover and develop their talents has had a devastating impact on every one of us.
BH: I love that insight. But what do we do about society’s failure?
HJ: We need to move our educational systems at all levels from one of processing students to one of transforming them into talented contributors to whatever they consider to be their life’s work. Every student should be able to say about at least one of their teachers: That was the person who helped me discover and develop my why.
BH: You are that teacher for me and for that I will be forever grateful. I hope you will let me do another interview soon?
HJ: Certainly, you know the price.
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“Self-transformation is not just about changing yourself. It means shifting yourself to a completely new dimension of experience and perception.”
– Jaggi Vasudev (Indian spiritual teacher)