Yesterday I was chatting with Cogito and mentioning to him that during my lunch break I was watching the movie Something the Lord Made which concerns the life of Vivien Thomas, one of the pioneers of cardiovascular surgery in America and a man who only ever formally finished high school. He was also a man of color accomplishing what he was accomplishing in the 1930s and 1940s. Not a period of time in America that would have been a friendly environment for a man of color trying to make his way in the profession of medicine. In 1976 he was finally recognized and given an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Laws) from Johns Hopkins University for the pioneering work he did there. A man of color living in a time of intense racism. A man who had only a high school education working along with and then instructing the surgeons who would go on to become chiefs of surgery in the most important hospitals in the U.S. An amazing story about a truly extraordinary man. My question to you is this: What sets these kinds of people apart from the rest? Is there an indefinable something extra that these individuals possess that allows them to surmount insurmountable odds stacked against them and succeed in ways that leave one agog? Are these people somehow actually different from the very start, or do you think that these people stand out from the rest because they chose to, because they made decisions others would not and took on what others would not take on and persevered through willpower? Is the extraordinary in each of us if we simply chose?