I’ve always felt my mediocrity rather keenly. I’m neither rich or famous. I see talented people on T.V. doing amazing things and athletes achieving astonishing feats! While I can do many things passably, I am not a true master of anything. I can’t compare my average life and skills with those who have clearly developed and extraordinary talents.
The idea of mediocrity is often scoffed at, as if we should feel ashamed to be somewhere in the middle. Thankfully, the dictionary definition of mediocrity appears to lend much to the interpretation of the reader.
What does the term “mediocre life” mean to you? Does it represent someone being average or is the definition narrowed toward those who are not living their lives with intention?
Would you define it as someone having a predictable and “ordinary” job and lifestyle?
I have another question: Does your definition take into consideration the socioeconomic demographic surrounding you? It would be logical to acknowledge that what one considers “average” largely depends on their environment.
The Urban Institute projects that the poverty rate in the U.S. for 2020 is estimated to reach 9.2%. Within that demographic, one could assume that those in that 9.2% would consider having a steady job with a dependable income as more than mediocre – it’d be a blessing! Whereas, a celebrity may find the plunge to an average suburban neighborhood and lifestyle as devastating, boring, or limited.
In exploring this topic, I ran across a blog post by Juansen Dizon that spoke to this abhorrence of the idea of mediocrity. Within it, Dizon states:
“But then there’s this false sense of danger in knowing that we’re statistically average in a certain area in life. It’s the mentality of perfection that causes people to be unhappy with what they have accomplished because others are living so much better than they are.”
“And it takes courage to keep an average, simple life going.”
Not everyone is wired to want to be the best or the most successful.
What if a life of comfortable predictability is beautiful and so much more than just mediocre? I think the answers to these questions are unique to each individual.
Giannarelli, L., Wheaton, L., Acs, G. (2020, July). 2020 Poverty Projections. Urban Institute. https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/102521/2020-povertyhttps://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/102521/2020-poverty-projections.pdf-projections.pdf
Dizon, J. (2018, April 15). Here’s Why Being Average is Absolutely Okay [Web log post]. Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://thoughtcatalog.com/juansen-dizon/2018/04/heres-why-being-average-is-absolutely-okay/