“The only sin is mediocrity.” – Martha Graham
All of us have dreams. We are taught to dream big, from the time we were just a few feet tall, trying to wrap our heads around the idea of a dream and what it can do. We are taught to dream of big things happening to us like settling as a surgeon who is well renowned or an engineer who graduates from an IIT or NIT and then goes on further to study at a top MBA college (what do Engineers do otherwise?). If you aren’t earning the big bucks by the time you’re 30 and you aren’t flashing brands which have abbreviations which are easier to remember than their pronunciations and aren’t taking trips across the globe, you are in all respects… a degenerate. Your parents must be banging their heads against a wall, wondering what they did wrong (which temple/church/mosque they didn’t visit and pray for your well being).
What about us, huh?! The ones stuck in-between?! I’m turning 30 in a few years and I am honestly nowhere closer to my dream of being half the things I thought I’d be a whole lot closer to, by now. We are the mediocre lot, who aren’t married and settled down with happy honeymoons and baby showers; neither are we closer to reaching the pinnacle of success at work… We are losers, in the eyes of our friends and families, and even bigger losers in our own eyes. I thought about it and God knows how I racked my brain trying to convince myself that there is something better for me in the future, when it hit me. This could be it. Mediocrity.
I might not be one of the best at most things that I’ve done and well, that’s something I’ve just got to get used to. I jumped from Architecture to working in an NGO because I wanted to do something which made me smile and made a difference in somebody else’s life and if that is going to make me mediocre, well I might as well live that life well. I am twenty-something years old and I’m staying in a hostel, alone with a lizard for company. My personal life is a mess, but then again… whose isn’t?! My plan doesn’t go past what I’m going to have for my next meal and I live my life as spontaneously as it comes. I have probably started and quit on so many hobbies and extra-curricular activities that I should be called a quitter. I recently had a nervous breakdown which was then followed by a physical breakdown which needed 10 days at home and a whole lot of medication to get me back to working condition.
I did everything right in school, I got all the grades required to get me into a good school and then life took me for a ride and the mediocre me is who came back, hurt, scraped, bruised and damaged… physically, emotionally and mentally. I can either mope and cry as I do on most days when I feel low or I can go ahead and live my life like the crazy misguided wayfarer that I become when I’m on my high… What I’ve learnt from my life so far… don’t quit on yourself… ever! You will find your inner strength when you least expect it and from then on, there is absolutely no turning back.
To all of you mediocre people, I raise a glass to our stubborn mule-like virtues… We will teach our children that being mediocre is okay because guess what, we turned out alright!! If there comes a time for us to shine, we will… until then… we bray our way into insignificance.
“The highest level than can be reached by a mediocre but experienced mind is a talent for uncovering the weaknesses of those greater than itself.” – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg