Wednesday, 15 April 2020

M for Mediocrity #AtoZChallenge

source: Dreamstime

There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who have their lives sorted out, and the ones who have no idea what they're doing. If you're among the latter, welcome to the mediocre club. We have been rowing our way ahead with no sense of direction. We have let ourselves be guided by the flow rather than our choices. We have successfully made that majority which goes unnoticed.

You see, we have been building the podium for that minority who succeed. We're the reason they're on the top. We keep trying to climb ahead only to end up tumbling over ourselves, not realizing that we make the very mountain that the winners climb over. The joke's on us if we continue to try, because either way, we'll remain to be the muddle in the middle.

Of course, in our young days, the shower of motivation fuels our vigour. We believe in the success that follows a thousand failures. We believe that perseverance and hard work always lead to victory. And yet we find ourselves toiling over sleepless nights in futile, to wake up and watch the winners-to-be reap results while we do not. We spend our days sighing and worrying about ever being able to make the mark. The thought then finally sets in, that perhaps we were tailor-made to stay average after all.

I can feel the heads shaking in disappointment as these words are consumed. You'd say that most people give up when they're almost there. You'd say that whatever's to happen will happen with time. And maybe it is true. But what is also true is that every single person does not get to be on the top. And there's always a possibility that we could be one of them. Pessimism, you say? Pragmatism, I claim.

Soon after the blissful school days was the advent of the rat race. The best would survive and the rest didn't matter. Success to us was defined by how far ahead we reached in this race. Not everybody could be winners, we knew. But we were determined to try. And so we did. Some of us still do,  wondering if this tunnel of waiting would ever end.

And so, we reach the ultimatum and question the very purpose of it all. Existential crisis becomes our constant companion. The fruitless efforts to reach the summit gets exhausting, bringing in a craving for an alternative. Was there any way to not be a part of this race at all?

Here was a seventeen-year-old fidgeting before JEE-Mains exam screen, hoping that the race would end there. But it didn't. One phase after another, the race continued. It frightened her more to know that it was no better anywhere else. There was absolutely no escape. No hideout to recoil into.

Back when she first took to writing, she worried about the gazillion better writers out there. She was but an insignificant novice. She tried to mimic the best, to follow the ones she admired, until it dawned on her that she could never be like them. Not even a whole life's effort could make her on par with those veterans. Strangely enough, this very realization had set her free. This was no competition anymore. She did not have to work harder to reach someone else's level. Because there was no such level. Her words would be her own, blissfully free.

And so it could be for us. Maybe we could create something beautiful from the middle of the mountain, because who says one has to be at the top to make a difference? Maybe we're meant to discover things that the winners tend to overlook. Maybe, in the long run, our journey will turn out to be far more satiating than reaching a destination.

It isn't easy to accept it, it never is. What with the diffidence being injected into our blood and our minds being stripped of what we always believed in. Let's believe that we aren't merely a bunch of mediocre's. We're instead the bunch programmed to build something new, to step out and explore while the 'winners' are busy racing uphill to take someone else's place. It's just a secret we often overlook.


(This is a previously published post in the blog, reposted for the A to Z Challenge)

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This is a part of the April A to Z challenge under the theme of 'My Inhibitions' or 'An Ode to Myself'. Read the other posts here.

Theme Reveal - An Ode to Myself
A for Awkwardness
B for Books
C for Connections 
D for Decisions
E for Extempore
F for Failure
G for Gymming
H for Hurt
I for Individuality
J for Judgements
K for Knowledge
L for Left-Out

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