The challenges that gifted people face

TALENT without opportunity achieves nothing. This is the problem facing all gifted people, in society: how will a gifted person find or create opportunities appropriate to that gift?

The greater the gift, the more rarefied the opportunity needs to be, to allow that gift to flourish.

Thus, the gifted person is confronted with an awkward conundrum: the more profound their gifts, the more unlikely it is that they will find the necessary opportunities to allow them to flourish.

There is another problem facing all gifted people in society.

A gifted person is one whose intellectual capacity is greater than the norm.

A moderately gifted person (the lowest level of “gifted”), with an IQ of 130, occurs with a rarity of one person in 44 in a population with a mean IQ of 100 and standard deviation of 15. That means they are brighter than 97.7% of the population.

Posing problems

Even at this low level of giftedness, the moderately gifted person faces discrimination of a different kind: the person presiding over any opportunity, job or a special situation, is not likely to be as bright as he or she is.

This presents a very real problem, as we shall see later.

However, the problem is even more acute for higher levels of giftedness.

The highly gifted person, with an IQ of 145, occurs with a rarity of one person in 741.

This means they are brighter than almost 99.9% of the population.

At this level it is almost certain that anyone empowered to decide over their fate, with respect to any opportunity, is not as bright as they are.

The exceptionally gifted person, with an IQ of 160 or more, occurs with a rarity of one person in 31,560. They are brighter than 99.997% of the population.

At this level, it is quite possible to live out one’s life, and never meet another person as bright.

Needless to say, anyone deciding on whether to offer them an opportunity, or not, is very likely to be less intelligent than they are.

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