“Most of you will probably never really discover anything. You may not contribute anything to the great equations that describe the universe to the world. By the laws of probability most of you are mediocre. Accept it. The tragedy of mediocrity is that even mediocre people shake their heads and mull over how “standards are falling”. So don’t mull. Most of you will be sideshows, extras in the grand unfolding of truth and that’s all right.” – Manu Joseph
In a very poignant account of how mediocrity has had always impacted us aversely at some point of our life, Manu Joseph has very beautifully phrased reality in his critically acclaimed book, “Serious Men.” Often we are faced with the dilemma of having to conform our actions and thoughts to the realm of mediocrity. As a writer, I have always viewed ‘Mediocrity’ as a subservient terminology, one to be negated of. This word has always been equivalent to the guy who came second. Because the harsh truth is that in this world of quintessentiality, there’s no space for penultimate. The realization of mediocrity hits like a sickening thud.
By the Laws of Probability
So obsessed with the usage and desires of being recipients of terms like, ‘Zenith’, ‘Apogee’ and ‘Epitome’, we humans have often surpassed our imagination to be able to realize the high-hitting truth. As Joseph puts it, by the laws of probability, most of us are sideshows. We’re the ones who’ve frequented ‘The Road Taken’ so often, that finding the way to ‘The Road Not Taken’ can only be thought about while expressing dismay, in words or thoughts. Mediocrity has been defined on a two-fold nature. ‘Being of average quality’ and ‘Being not very good’ are two detriments of its varied usage. Often latched with negative connotations, ‘Mediocrity’ is a word that acts as a full-stop to aspiring dreams and as a comma ( an unconditional pause) while trusting someone with regard to their ability to gain fruition of current undertakings. No one wants to be deemed as someone who is ordinary and mainstream. Everyone wants to ‘Think out of the box’. People want to escape the self-wrought clutches of conformism and engage into eccentricism. Even after religiously obeying the ‘101 Laws to Success’ and understanding unconventional ways to changing one’s own life, things do not change.
Nothing to be ashamed of
I am not propagating a pessimist way in life wherein all of us should subject our notions into believing that we are mediocre entities. All that I hope to convey is acceptance of the fact that mediocrity is nothing to be ashamed of. Mediocrity gives people hope for transcending their own beliefs one day, in an attempt to make it to the top. Successful people are not born with innate talents of greatness. They are effectively mediocre people, who chose to rise above their abjection and confront reality. While in the same process, they never stopped trying. Human achievement is limited only by human will. It doesn’t matter what the raw power of the processor is, it matters what you do with that power.
Acceptance is the cure to this infirmity that projects mediocrity as a negated adjective. Like Joseph put reality to terms, most of us will be sideshows who would be extras in the grand unfolding of the truth. This thought doesn’t scare me much now. For in the wheel of time, everything fades into oblivion. What matters is not how posterity views mediocre people like us, it is how we think of ourselves.