To summarise the takeaway from the book, it criticizes the people who take pride at their own mediocrity and are so proud to be average, they refuse to work hard to improve themselves. The book paints a world shaped with an eye to the abilities and needs of such a majority, and it ultimately leads to the doom of the world, as those who do work hard and strive to be above average, go on a strike against the system, as it makes them bear all the weight of the world, just like Atlas.
Coming back, making the world for the mediocre would only be a start of this doom. I understand that the author meant well by waging a war against a system that seeks to belittle and demean mistakes and one that demands nothing less than perfection. He talks about how people these days make fun, rather than help someone who doesn’t know a topic. I agree with this point. I have seen some of my classmates do it and it is a very ugly practice.
One should never be afraid of making mistakes as that leads to being stuck to the tried and tested. Truly, if no one dares to make a mistake, there will be no growth. But to belittle meritocracy is no good. I am personally a believer in Carol Dweck's principle that if you work hard and learn new things, there is nothing you cannot do. That is true intelligence. To belittle the intelligence of this kind is fatal. I would always want to live in a world where the work I put in, is rewarded.
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A society need not always profess in the necessity of academic brilliance I agree, but it should never be one that belittles the need to be good at what you do. Telling people it is alright to just coast along- leeching off the work other people have put in, is unethical and unproductive. Sure, such a society may continue to retain all its jobs, but it will lose real productivity and any real inventions or breakthroughs. To create such a society that promotes the average would lead to no good because ambition to be better, or achieve more is often the fuel for the growth of a civilization as a whole. The day the drive for betterment stops, will be the day the Earth stops moving forward.
The article did raise one good point though- Of how poverty and intelligence have a strong negative correlation. It says that the elementary education that a child receives has a very strong impact on him/her; it is one that can never be compensated if lost. Thus, by default, people who are poor as kids may never reach their true potential, due to their poverty. Personally, I think it’s not just education, but everything we see, feel, experience and do in our childhood that has a significant and irreplaceable effect on us. So, instead of trying to create a ‘mediocre’ world, we should focus on opening up the minds and hearts of kids to various experiences and showing them the true importance of hard work and dedication.
LIFE IS ABOUT THE JOURNEY AFTER ALL. THOUGH TOUGH, IT IS THAT JOURNEY THAT MAKES YOU.