Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I just realized - 2

Mediocrity is a word so many of us avoid with a vengeance, yes? And why so? For the same reason that we all push ourselves beyond limits, sometimes, to the very point of breakdown.

Cause at the end of the day,
Ordinary = not good enough = failure
Not ordinary = better than the rest = success.

And admittedly, it takes courage to move past mediocrity into the land of "better than the rest".

Walking out of a comfy relationship when you think you think you deserve more than the few morsels of someone's attention and time that you currently get by on ...
Taking an exam that 10^5 students in the country take and only 800 can pass, despite being well aware of the odds ...
Taking up that offbeat profession with no contacts, no godfathers, no nothing to help you shine while everyone else you know is still walking the cushy foreign degree road ...

I just realized 2: It probably takes even more courage to live amidst mediocrity with the cognizance that it is indeed mediocre.

You know what I mean? I realize there's millions of people out there who live the lives they do simply because they know no better and in their paradigm of the world, this is as good as it gets. I'm not talking about them.

I'm talking about the people who make choices and even when those choices turn out to be disappointments and life threatens to turn into a mediocre series of days and nights, still stick by their committments and don't run, simply because they have way too much integrity. I'm talking about them ..

Women (or men as the case may be) staying in marriages that didn't happen of their own accord, done to keep families happy (yeah, it happens..)
Employees stuck in mediocre jobs that they have no passion for, because they have families to support and cannot afford to rock the delicate boat that rests on the single income they bring in ..

If that isn't courage, what is?

*erm, yeah... in the battle of the thinking mind vs. sleepy body, the mind wins 1-0*


Penguin said...

I know there are times when I wouldn't consider that courage, more foolishness, you know. You owe it to yourself to want to do better than mediocre, to be as happy as you can be, irrespective of who else and what else is in your life. But then, those are the times when I'm an idealist. In my realistic world, I'm more sensible and forgiving of mediocrity. Because more often than not, I'm average myself. But hey, no one can stop me from fooling myself, can they? :-)

Ariel said...

Just read the blog after the longest time so very many comments:)
1) I ve been listening to How to save a life for a little more than two weeks everyday/everytime:). Saw it mentioned in a post down here.strange eh?
2)Ok I know its not the point of the post but I really do not agree with the cushy foreign degree ref. I d say it takes courage to leave ur comfort zone, work long hrs at odd jobs looked down on in india and put urself through school and get out with a loan that takes a couple of years to repay. Whatever the reasons for following that approach nuthin is 'cushy' abt it. As opposed to that the other option of studying in predefined courses of subsidised education with guarenteed job offers and salaries with families close by seems the easier way out.But nuthings simple abt that too right?:)
3)Abt mediocrity I agree completely with penguins comment:).But then again I only want to excel at very few things. I dont want a perfect relationship jst excel at the 2 things that matter to me most in one.I m not the best at my job but the facets of it that I care about I m the best at. I guess we always end up being mediocre at something or the other but the pt is do we really want to do anything about it? Most of the time the answer will be no not because we lack the courage to do better but because it really doesnt matter to us either way. You need to break things down into smaller entities. Helps:)

nutan said...

I disagree with you here. I don't understand how being stuck in something you don't like courage. It just takes a whole lot of lethargy and inertia to get used to being stuck.... one likes to sugar coat it and call it courage to face life as it comes or integrity...but i think not.... this argument that people give that "what could i have done" is the reason why people are more dead when they are alive than they are actually dead.... and its not about being great/ more than mediocre.... to try to not be suck is considered to be a virtue of great(more than mediocre) men.... but in fact, if its not for the cowardice to face tomorrow anybody who wants to be "not stuck" can go ahead and be "not stuck"...

unpredictable said...

Penguin: I know. I would too. Its like that book you gave me though, the one with short stories by Deaver? Where you see someone in a certain light all along and then suddenly you understand their situation and the foolishness suddenly turns into courage in your eyes .. ill explain when we meet

Ariel: Good to have you back! :) And that IS a brilliant song innit? :)
Cushy foreign degree is from the pov that despite the long hours and the hard life, most people know there's light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a good job .. specifically in my knowledge context Masters and foreign MBA degrees ... vs say a budding actor trying to make it big in the industry with no help ... how much more confidence it must take in oneself to say I could end up as the son's best friend in a K serial at the end of all this effort .. and im still willing to take this plunge?
Also, obv, when there's an area of life where mediocrity is acceptable, its pretty much the same as being ignorant of a better way right? There's no DESIRE to move beyond, hence no question of courage in hanging on to status quo ... but when someone WOULD like to move out and cannot for very real constraints (kids, family etc) THAT's courageous to me ..

Nuts: Hmmm .. same answer as to Penguin ... my examples are pretty lousy ... more when we meet in 20 days :)