It seems to me there is substantial pressure on all of us to be above average. We are encouraged to “get a head start” early in life, to excel at school and in our careers, to be great, to be awesome, to be exceptional.
All of this pressure creates a problem. And it has nothing to do with the semantics of all of us being above average. (If we are all above average, that will create a whole new average, above which we must all strive to overcome, which will again create a whole new average. . . sigh.)
No, I’m talking about those of us who do not achieve above-averageness. After all, the term “above average” technically refers to the select minority. So most of us are going to fall within the average range. Even if we strive to become exceptional, most of us will, by definition, lead pretty average lives.
Why do we feel embarrassed about this? Why must we apologise for our averagibility? (Did I just take creative licence a tad too far?) My question remains. Why does it feel so countercultural to accept and embrace the average within us?
Why do we feel embarrassed about this?
Well, I think it is time to be countercultural. I am here today to reclaim the word ‘average’. I am proud to proclaim, embrace and own my averageness. I am pleased – thrilled even – to inform you that I have achieved an average result.
Get to the point, I hear you politely mutter.
My averageness happened this way. I wrote a book which I published two years ago. At around this time, I was informed that the average Australian author sells two hundred copies of their book.
I decided, then and there, that I wanted to be average.
I wanted to be average.
I made it a goal. A bucket list item. A once-I-have-done-this-I-can-die-happy wish.
And now it has happened. One week ago, I sold another batch of books to Koorong which brings my grand total of books sales over the two hundred mark. I have achieved averageness.
I would like to thank my friends, family and Koorong fans for supporting me in my journey toward becoming average. Most of all, I would like to thank God, without whose help I might never have achieved my life’s ambition of averageness. . .
That was slightly tongue-in-cheek, but I do hope you can sense that I am genuinely grateful. It is nice to have achieved a life goal by the age of thirty-eight. Although I must say, it was never about the sales.
This book, and this writing that I do, is about a message. This message is one of hope, of encouragement, of perseverance. It is a message that we are not alone in our struggles. It is a message of love, a love that transcends our human capacity, a love that can only emanate from God.
It is a message that we are not alone in our struggles.
It is an above-average message, delivered by an average author. I hope that more than two hundred people have now read all about that message of love and have taken it to heart.
How do you feel about being average? Have you considered that God might do some of his best work in and through average people? Have you seen God use average people – either yourself or someone you know? Share your story – let’s have a countercultural conversation.