The Advantage of Disadvantages: Suffering

Dyslexia1

Does dyslexia come with hidden advantages? Since dyslexia is a learning disability it’s counterintuitive.

But some of the world’s most accomplished people [Steven Spielberg, Mohammed Ali, Pablo Picasso, Richard Branson] despite being dyslexic.

Dyslexia, in the best of cases, forces you to develop skills that might otherwise have lain dormant.

In his fascinating book David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell argues that much of what we consider valuable in our world arises when we are faced with impossible odds.

The same qualities that appear to give [giants] strength are often the sources of great weakness,” Gladwell writes. “And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate.”

This ignites in me the notion that people from disadvantaged backgrounds work harder because their circumstances forces them to develop that work ethic.

They wake up very early each morning because they have to catch an early bus or train so that they can get to work on time.

They work double shifts so that they can make an extra income to make ends meet.

Foreign nationals work twice as hard as locals because they have the desirable difficulty of being out of their comfort zones.

Being in a foreign country, away from friends and family forces you to focus on one thing, work, the reason you are in a foreign country in the first place.

For some small number of people, a parental loss appears to be, ultimately, a desirable difficulty, again, not a large number.

There seems to be a class of obstacles that for some people, for whatever reason, has an advantageous outcome.

For some people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds forces to develop high work ethic, resilience, perseverance and other survival skills that they wouldn’t have developed have they came from advantaged, privileged positions.

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