This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.
I heard this paraphrase a number of years ago on KQED’s Forum rebroadcast while I was on the way home from kung fu practice. The guest was Jack Kornfield, and a listener was taking him to task about having said that “Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Desmond Tutu, and the like were not great people”.
“Oh no, they most certainly are and were extraordinary human beings. No question. What I said was that their capacity for being extraordinary was not extraordinary.”