Ode To Mediocrity

Well, ladies and gentlemen.. you know those films about a born genius who seems to be shunned by the masses at first, but he/she overcomes the little handicaps of own brilliance and initial rejection and triumphs, with the previously sniggering crowds suddenly falling at the feet of the newly-established and proven talent? OK, let’s see… ‘Good Will Hunting’ has a different twist. A rebellious, but superior to even most advanced mathematicians young man rejects the life which his peers would kill for, and goes off into the blue yonder, chasing after his ex-girlfriend who had buggered off to San Francisco. Maybe they ended up in Goa. Who knows.

Aside from the sad fact that he kicked his enormous talent right in the gut, to the power of ten… he also fell for the words of a woman. She said ‘I love you’. From my perspective – a serious flaw in the script.

But I was talking about mediocrity. Agrrrrr… a word loaded with ‘put-me-downs’ and a sense of superiority towards all those talent-less and use-less other humans. Right?

WRONG.

There are no films devoted to billions of us who are just…. OR-DI-NA-RY. Who cannot dance a tango on the tips of their ears. Who are unable to perform mathematical equations with the speed of a petabyte computer. Who stumble word upon word when filling a questionnaire. Who don’t possess the voice with the power resembling that of a  megawatt speaker. Who cannot run to save their life. Who are lousy at selling water in a desert. Who draw pictures of animals in ways that make kids cry. Etc. etc.

We glorify the exceptional and despise the ordinary. In doing so we despise – ourselves and those like us, who live their lives without much funfair, without ‘making a difference’, without any recognition, cogs in the wheel of life. Unnoticed, undervalued, unappreciated by the world at large.

No, no films sing praises to mediocrity, correct. Humans secretly make comparisons between own set of discernible talents and that of others. The discovery that someone may be a hundred times better looking, smarter, faster, more sociable, more likable, more noticeable, more… MORE – sends many into the spin of self-under appreciation, self-loathing, self- hate and a desperate attempt to overcompensate for this recognition of own mediocrity. Love me!! I am great!! If you only got to know me!!! Anyone???

From my perspective, however…. you are the best thing that ever happened to this world. Without you, my mediocre friend, the world’s greatest talents would spin into utter despair. Who would fill the stadiums and concert halls? Who would read their books? Who would use their innovations? Who would listen to their speeches and music? They NEED you, my dear dumb ass. YOU are the one who gives meaning to their (also) meaningless existence. You have an unbelievable power to create human ‘gods’ and to tear them down at will.

A life of brilliance is fraught with struggle, doubt, competition, expectation. There is pressure to perform and to deliver, and as you know – humans are quick to condemn should their expectations not be met. You, on the other hand, have nothing to lose except.. well, your mediocrity, and that’s not much.

“Struggle struggle, Make it double.”

Love your mediocrity. It may not sound very convincing, but then.. I am mediocre, so whatchagonnado??

As I was thinking how to finish this rambling piece, I remembered “The March Of The Penguins”, a long line of average, quite mediocre looking birds who nevertheless have a strange appeal.

Why? Perhaps because mediocre is more real than brilliant? Yeah, must be that.


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