Follow

It frustrates me when people use the word 'mediocre' to mean 'bad/hateful'.

Mediocrity means you're average. Ordinary. You don't have your own rocket fleet. You didn't win the Olympics. You're not the US President.

A lot of evil is done in this world by people who think they're above mediocre - that the mediocre person is something to be sneered at, abused, farmed. And because they're NOT mediocre, they have the power to do that.

If you think something's bad, call it bad, not mediocre.

I mean, *I'm* mediocre. I have a low-to-middling white collar job. I'm not a millionaire, or a PhD, or a CEO, or on the executive track, or in politics.

And no matter how much I might dream, I'm very unlikely to do or say anything that's significantly different from the vast mass of people on this planet.

And you know what? I'm actually okay with that.

But to a lot of people, *it is morally not okay* to be mediocre. You must *excel* to be a minimal baseline human.

That attitude worries me.

It worries me because it seems like a kind of ethical stack-ranking.

Everyone in your social circle must every day excel. Everyone must be constantly breaking boundaries, smashing silos, revolutionising their world, rethinking and reconceptualising the very essence of what it means to be human.

We must always be 'moving on' and nothing must 'hold us back'. But from where, and to where?

After you've lived a few years you start to realise that life as moral treadmill gets really, really tiring.

@natecull I think part of it is that if you're not pushing at least a little bit to improve consistently then you're probably losing some of your skill.

Brains suck. Entropy ain't what it used to be.

So yeah: being mediocre is not bad, but people don't embrace it because if they're not pushing they're probably losing it.

@natecull This, so much.
I actually remind myself, frequently, that I am very average and that is a good thing.

@natecull
>reconceptualising the very essence of what it means to be human.

I mean that's easy, you can very easily reconceptualise something that doesn't exist :^)

@natecull My parents talk a fair bit about my becoming rich and famous, and seem to be dissapointed when that doesn't motivate me.

What motivates me is to contribute my little bit, my skills, to causes I believe in. And it doesn't matter to me if that doesn't make me special.

@natecull Hateful would be wrong, but it does mean 'not good'

"Of middling quality; neither bad nor good, average; (hence contextually) indifferent, of poor quality,"

"1742 Pope Corr. 27 Nov. (1956) IV. 428 A very mediocre Poet, one Drayton, is yet taken some notice of, because Selden writ a few Notes on one of his Poems.
1797 Monthly Mag. 3 29 There are four silver clasps..the style of the engraving of which is but médiocre."

Average would mean normal. Mediocre means

@natecull nothing noticeably good or bad about it, but through connotation means worse then average, since it implies the is nothing memorable about it.

@natecull it's close in meaning to bad at least, and has connotations of it.

it's better than redefining nihilism as bad

@natecull I think there's some subtext there (that I don't really know about either) - I've seen that used in the context that the mediocre person wants everyone else to be mediocre too, and despises everything that sticks out.

@natecull Something like this here: "This in turn produces a truncated, normalized society of soulless mediocrity where evil is not allowed but injustice is everywhere – a society that cannot tolerate eccentricity or the further reaches of life experiences but sees them as illnesses to be medicated out of existence."

(From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archetyp)

@galaxis Hmmm, this idea of 'daimon' intrigues me, as it seems very similar to a concept I've seen elsewhere. Thanks for pointing me to this! I hadn't heard of Archetypal Psychology before.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!