October 27, 2014

Mediocrity stops me from being shunned

Mediocrity virus

Mediocrity has been on my mind a lot lately. With poor service delivery in both the public and private sectors rife, dropping education standards and the stress that unchecked crime brings, how could it not be?

Is there a mediocrity virus running amuck?

You’re, of course, smart enough to know that when I lash out, I’m just projecting, aren’t I? I suffer from the mediocrity virus too.

I know that I’m not always 100% present in every situation. I don’t always bring my A-Game to every situation, be it work, relationships, intellect, community and health.

To be brutally honest, I sometimes just get through my day by the skin of my teeth. It’s almost enough to make me believe that I do have a guardian angel looking out for me. Because if it were only up to me, I would be floundering a lot more than I already am.

But, it’s hard, isn’t it … saying “No” to mediocrity?

It takes real guts, moral courage and risk to stunt the virus.


Because, in the real world, the Utopian concept of excellence is shunned. We speak a great game of excellence. But in reality mediocrity is covertly (and, often, overtly) encouraged because it allows things to run (not smoothly – but run nonetheless). We like (or tolerate) the status quo so that we don’t rock the boat. We avoid having the courageous conversations with ourselves, a wayward child, a troubled spouse and a non-performing employee because we’re scared to upset the apple cart and actually bring up issues that we have to face and resolve.

In fact, those folks who do stand for something and say “Enough”, are vilified, shut up, fired and institutionalised. They hold a mirror up to us that we don’t want to look at. Because to look at how we have settled for less by swimming in the pool of mediocrity is just too much to withstand, isn’t it?

To be told that we can do more and be more is too much of a burden because it means that we will actually have to come to terms with who we are, do some real work and use our given potential so that we can fulfill our destiny.

Raising the bar and ridding ourselves of the mediocrity virus is messy, isn’t it?

Of course it is. But, may I suggest that we try it anyway because we only have one shot at this adventure called life. We may as well make every moment we have count and every moment we have, a moment to be proud of.

We weren’t created as Elbert Hubbard said in A Message To Garcia to give slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference and half-hearted work.

No, we were not designed to be average. We were designed to leave this world having given more than we have gotten. We were designed for a purpose, to so something significant and make a difference.

One Comment on “Mediocrity stops me from being shunned

Kirsten Long
October 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I do remember a story someone told (was it perhaps Craig Valentine?) about a whole lot of crabs in a bucket. One crab eventually crawls over the others in an attempt to get out. AAs he reaches higher up the edge of the bucket and almost makes it out – the other crabs grab hold of him and pull him down. This ties into your post: When we excel and shine we may not get accolades of those around us – very often they would prefer it if you stayed the same – mediocre.

Thanks for a great post!


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