short note on the exceptional

There's the exceptional that's demonstrated, performed, and proven, and then there's exceptionalism that's assumed and abused.

Former: getting more done, having strong ideas, rising to occasions, assuming burdens, not taking a path simply because it's easy or popular, etc.
Latter: expecting to not have to do things, assuming illegitimate authority, not following rules only because they are a burden to you, taking an opposite path simply because the other is popular

and then there's a value judgement