Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 12th, 2012

The best of Dignities: Acquiring “this sense of entitlement” to negotiating with authority figures

Two individuals are brilliant in IQ scores.  Past the mark of 130 in IQ, your mental analytical abilities are good enough to finish graduate studies and receiving Nobel Prizes, if you continue to work hard. For example, past 6’3″, two basketball players are selected on other kinds of characteristics, talents, and potentials…

Two individuals are brilliant in IQ scores and have promising successful future: One succeed in the real world (recognition, standard of living…) and the other “potential genius” is a flop.  One has this most important other kind of intelligence: “practical intelligence” or “negotiation skills” with institutions and systems in the real world in order to navigate his way around his desires and wants.

One learned from his family and restricted community to communicate and negotiate with authority figures: He was in touch with the multitude of forms to fill, institution procedures, social structure, political system…The other “genius” lived in an environment (family and extended family) that felt helpless dealing with authority figures (School principal, teacher, physician…) and refrained from engaging in any kind of “concerted cultivation” of their genius kid:  The motto was “let him grow naturally”, let him play in the backyard with the neighboring kids, let not take him to zoos, theatre plays, festivities, lectures, or meeting with grown up adults…

The successful genius acquired from his family and restricted community the necessary training in the ” sense of entitlement”, this courage to asking questions to authority figures, to ask questions to grown up people, to blend with other families and communities, to step forward to a podium, to reflect for himself, to give and take in the real world, to doing “business”…

The unsuccessful genius lived within a family overwhelmed with  the demands and choices of the social and political systems, and subjugated to anyone considered “one up in the social structure”…The kid was not taught to face up to the requirements of negotiating his way around, of patiently negotiating what he wanted to achieve and desired, of quitting quickly when rejected or his request declined, of avoiding dealing with authority figures, of finding all kinds of excuses in order to satisfying his comfort zone…

Studies found that middle class families tend to  engage in  “concerted cultivation” of their kids, of getting busy with community business, of spending a lot of free time with their kids, of opening up the discussion to all kinds of topics…Poorer class families are not trained in their upbringing to negotiating with institutions and authority figures, and the kids are neglected…May be it is not totally a matter of “How wealthy a family is”, as much it is of “in what community and environment” you happened to grow up…

In communities where there are thousand of “IQ geniuses” applying to joining universities, the picked up applicant must have demonstrated other kinds of intelligences and advantages.  For example, How educated are his parents, how professional are his parents, or does the kid has this “divergence intelligence” such as “give examples of the many ways we can use a brick or a blanket”, is the applicant funny? Does he has an acute sense of humor?…

Note 1: This post was inspired by a chapter in “outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

Note 2:




January 2012

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