Average Doesn’t Mean “Bad”

April 17, 2017

I was recently ordering a pair of shoes online, and a review for the shoe read: “Average comfort”. I quickly realized I took this to be a negative connotation. Why in the world would that resonate as a negative perspective? Why is average not taken as doing well in our culture?
In the simplest term, there cannot be “exceeds average” across the board in a statistics column, it just wouldn’t work out mathematically. With that being said, we still feel a bit of shame or self-doubt if someone throws us into the “average” column. We confidently believe our children should be above-average in every sense, and take offense if we are told they fall into the “average”, or God forbid “below-average” category.
In the era of the “You Tube celebrity” it isn’t hard to understand why we feel the overwhelming need to stick out and shine brighter than others. I mean it can’t be that hard to be spectacular when a woman wearing a Chewbacca mask becomes an internet sensation…right?
Becoming a “celebrity” (I do use that word loosely) this day and age seems to be more sought after than being respected. Numerous online “celebrities” have reached this status because of the number of hits they have received, and typically this is at the expense of their dignity and ultimately self-worth. Do we really admire these people, or are we looking at them thinking “oh wow, at least I’ve not reached that low of a point in life!” For whatever reason, there seems to be a void in this country, and the press and media are all too eager to fill it with people making fools of themselves. It’s hard not to think the ultimate fools are those forwarding the videos to friends.
Imagine for a moment if a simple video of a father playing with his children received 100 million clicks instead of some profanity laced clip of a tween going off on a crowd in a Dr. Phil episode. Think long and hard why our culture leans toward the extreme. Why can’t being a loving and average person get the same amount of celebrity?
I think the answer is fairly simple, but not all that overtly obvious. True and heartfelt human compassion does not seek attention, but instead longs for nothing more than unselfish kindness and love. This era of celebrity is short lived, and following up with most of these viral stars within a year or two will often yield depressing results.
Being “average” should make you feel proud and also thankful. Being average in our nation means you have more than 90% of the globe, and you are living a life that allows you luxuries billions will never experience. There is nothing wrong with striving for excellence, because the journey there will often lead you to cross paths with some amazing people, and if you’re lucky, a few of them will also look back on you as amazing.

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