There is a pendulum between being excellence and mediocrity, in which we all are swinging. Our films (remember Three Idiots), our leaders, our entrepreneurs- inspire us to run towards ‘excellence’, and very rightly so. We must strive towards excellence. But what until then? ‘Being Mediocre’ or ‘Mediocrity’ is shameful.
In our aspirational (and imaginary) race, we forget that mediocrity is very subjective. For most of us, mediocrity is a third party perspective. “Do people consider me mediocre?” “A mediocre student became a doctor and now works in his village.” He could be a student who cleared MBBS from the city but decided to go back to his roots, to serve his people. (I actually know someone like that.)
For example: “A mediocre student became a doctor and now works in his village.” In reality, he could be an average student who cleared MBBS from the city but decided to go back to his roots, to serve his people. Someone who wanted to study further, could not, and had to manage his father’s business or someone who wanted to run away from home but could not because there was a house to manage. Someone, who could write the ‘commercial’ kind of writing but lived their writing style. Someone who did good design work but did not get the credit.
For a comedian, a ‘9 to 9 job person’ from an ‘average’ company would look like a ‘mediocre’. To a popular comedian, the struggling comedian might look like a mediocre. A commercial actor might think of a struggling theatre actor as mediocre (and vice versa). To an entrepreneur, an employee in an MNC might look like a ‘corporate slave’. A corporate employee might see an entrepreneur as ‘wasting time’.
How are we to make a truce with these two things? The truth is, there’s no right or wrong because:
“Do people consider me mediocre?” is very different from “Am I mediocre?” If the person is fulfilling their primary motivation in the current situation, whether it is livelihood to take care of their families or pursuing their passion; it is in its own sense extraordinary. There is nothing mediocre in doing what you are supposed to do.
Be fired, get the axe, get sacked, pink slip, put out to pasture, call it quits, resign, retire, stand down, give in, hand a notice, vacate and bow out- all mean the same thing eventually. The market that it is right now, we have a lot of people around us- either they quit on their own or they were made to quit. Whether it is for a month for six months, there is a waiting period before you get into the next thing. And even though there is nothing shameful about it, we feel ashamed. Endless scrolls on the social media which were once a normal thing now become a pain in the ass. Everyone seems to be moving ahead, having a vacation, finding happiness, getting engaged or married or going on an international honeymoon- everyone, but you. And the worst part about it is that we let it become a big question mark.
Am I good enough?
Will I ever get a job?
What will I tell people?
Do I deserve this?
What did I do wrong here?
Why did this happen to only me?
How could they do this to ME?
While a little bit of contemplation on these questions is only natural and necessary but overthinking is dangerous. It makes you lazy, under confident, sad, under confident, regretful, under confident, aloof, attention seeking, etc.
The risk is that if you keep thinking, “I am useless”, you will internalise that thought and it will become a part of your mental framework. It kills you partly.
You only can give birth to a child. You can’t expect to own them when they become adults— their bodies, feelings, desires, dreams, consent— nope. I’m sorry if this hurts to know but those things are not yours to control. And that is, of course, in spite of all that you have sacrificed for them or for all the love you have given to them. Don’t put your love on a bargain to emotionally blackmail your adult child. Your ego must not weigh more than your child’s happiness.
This is not how it works. Neither logically nor legally. Perhaps you are worried about the culture or the society around you, what will they say, how will we answer? Well, then, think of the answers. Find the right answers, instead of taking the easy way out- do what everyone else is doing.
Who is this society? Is this one person or two people? Why are you so desperate to be a part of it? Is this society giving you birthday surprises or kissing you good morning every day or lovingly buying you clothes with their first salary? Does the society call you to ask if you’ve had lunch? Does the society come with you to the doctor when you’re sick? Does it pester you until you eat the medicines? Does it push you for the morning walk? How many times does the society give you a hug when you need it the most? How much will the society cry when you are dead? Continue reading “When Parents Go Wrong”
How To React When Someone Comes Out to You
- Acknowledge: In a world that we live in, it is actually a big deal if someone comes out to you, especially if you not homosexual. There are a hundred fears attached to saying those three words, and when someone does that, the least you can do it, take a pause and acknowledge. Keep it a secret if they want to.
- Do Not Joke: It’s not funny. If you don’t understand how it feels, do not speak but try and not crack ugly jokes.
- Resist the Questions: You have heard different things and you have all sort of fantasies about homosexuality (how to you really have sex, how to get attracted, etc) but resist asking all sorts of questions right then.
- What to say: To begin with, say that you love them. Say that it doesn’t matter who they want to sleep with and it will not affect your love for them. The nicest thing to say is, “I’m glad you shared this with me. I just want you to know that I love you. And this doesn’t affect our friendship.”
- Do not Freak Out: When you freak out, you ask mean questions like, “Omg, what will you do now?” Would you say that to someone who’d say, “I am passionate about Math”? You won’t. It’s that simple. Nothing is to be done about it. The person is just sharing it with you.
- Do not be Awkward: There’s nothing awkward if the person if of the same sex as yours. They could be a friend/brother or sister. But you don’t need to creep out. Don’t think that they “like you that way” just because they are homosexual or queer. Just like every heterosexual person doesn’t like you! Do not run away from them.