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Reviewed by Leonard William Smuts for Readers' Favorite
Gregory Diehl breaks new ground with The Heroic and Exceptional Minority. He explores the concept of heroism with all its positive attributes and links it to the search for something beyond mediocrity. There are intelligent and talented people in the world, but they are a minority and do not always reach their true potential. Constraining belief systems prevalent in society, together with our inbuilt fear of failure, conspire with many other factors to imprison them in a paradigm of discontent and estrangement from life in general. Diehl challenges them to be different, to embrace their talents, seek self-knowledge, allow original thought, and shed the conformity that flows from childhood conditioning. Heroism is about overcoming the odds, being true to our core values, living our truth, and seeking justice. It is also about idealism and creating a better reality. This is not an attempt to create an elite corps that will solve the world’s problems by imposing their will on others from a position of arrogance. Instead, the aim is to make readers aware of their uniqueness and potential to become exceptional through making meaningful choices and eliminating the false. The author encourages readers to overcome obstacles, both real and imagined. This book is a call to arms for all those who have felt trapped since childhood by feeling that they were different. Readers will be guided through a thought process that can bring about the freedom they desire while achieving new levels of understanding and excellence.
The Heroic and Exceptional Minority is a breath of fresh air and adopts a unique approach to self-awareness and development. Gregory Diehl has identified key aspects of personal growth through self-discovery. The book is divided into short chapters, each of which relates to a specific topic. These are dealt with in a concise and readable manner and Diehl gets his points across with precision and without over-elaboration or hype. I particularly liked the chapter regarding the intellect, which reflects on the sometimes lonely path of the gifted minority who find it difficult to share concepts with people of lesser understanding. This can lead to isolation or even alienation and begs the question as to whether the intellect is a blessing at all, as there is a perception in some circles that intellectuals are aloof and should be marginalized. The author also makes the important point that intelligent people are neither inherently heroic nor exceptional. These characteristics flow from a state of mind and conscious effort. This book will not appeal to those with closed minds but will be a revelation to readers searching for new depths within themselves. It is a book that is full of insights and practical advice. It should be read once and then studied in detail later. Perhaps then, the minority will flourish.