Perhaps ability is not the right world – maybe it should be “The eagerness to study, and to learn.”
Everyone will agree with this – but few will do it. Perhaps they fear their study will take them to places they do not want to go. Better to be ignorant than to go in the wrong places.
Whatever the reason, contemporary people (especially the young) are timid adventurers. And we can take this to be an important characteristic of our times.
I have just downloaded A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design – where the author was eager to learn. And got a Nobel Prize for his efforts.
This was an exceptional case – in more typical case, you end up being ostracized and unemployed.
Believe me – I been there, and it was no fun.