Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mediocrity (published 8-11-2008)

Mediocrity, from mediocre, is from the Latin "mediocris," meaning medius, middle.

I was driving up the road today. (Yes, it was up an East Tennessee hill.) To the right was a drop off down a ravine -- of course, no guardrail. To the left was, ironically, an EMS vehicle, over the yellow line, in my lane! I had two choices: die by EMS vehicle (oh, what irony!) or by a long drop. Well, since I'm writing now, the EMS driver swerved back into his lane in time. (No, he wasn't on a run. Lights were off.)

Illustration? Yes. What happens when you drive in the middle of the road? You crunch or are crunched!

What is wrong with so many people? We settle for mediocrity. Not satisfied with politics, career, religion, family, etc.? So what? Don't rock the boat. Don't strive to change or improve. Keep your mouth shut. You might cause chaos. You might hurt someone's feelings. There is too much uncertainty, too much risk. Don't change.

Then, we go through the motions of life, robotically. We don't really live. Thoreau, in "Walden," wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." I don't know about you, but I'm tired of "quiet desperation!" Darn it! Enough is enough!

So what if you rock the boat, take a risk, upset someone? Use your compass. Don't just stand in the woods, looking at it, for direction. Find your path. Get out of the woods! The view is great at the bluff! You can see for miles!

Of course, I am not advocating some form of hedonism. Ancient Greece fostered that. You compass is magnetized by your morals, your sense of what is right. Do what is right, based on your ability to read your own compass.

In short, don't let others "fit you into a box" where you don't belong. Stand. Don't be afraid. Change for the better. Improve. Don't look back.

Quit driving down the middle of the road in mediocrity. I don't want to be hit!

What say you?

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