This is how the world works

"Excellence requires effort that most do not attain. So you don’t see much of it around."

The world operates through mediocrity. It functions by patchwork, by clumping together, by stopgap solutions. It does not care about excellence. It doesn’t care that things are done well, only that they are done. In the business world, excellence costs money.

Excellence requires effort that most do not attain. So you don’t see much of it around. You only see the average, the commonplace, the ordinary. Excellence, instead of being encouraged, is in fact suppressed. Nobody wants to be reminded of how average and ordinary they are, so anyone exhibiting excellence is at best ignored, at worst pushed out of the way, gotten rid of, attacked. You end up with a mediocre world order that propagates itself.

Agreed, we celebrate excellence, in certain areas. Who won first prize, a trophy, a badge. But the truth is there are consequences to living with excellence, consequences that most cannot tolerate. The ‘Excellents’ of the world find it difficult to live with the ‘Ordinary’, and vice versa. It’s either dumb down or try to show them the way to excellence. But that can become intolerable after a while, for both parties. The answer: get rid of the Excellent in your midst, so you won’t be continually reminded of your inadequacies. In business, that usually means promotion, a win-win situation. However, what you end up with are a few Excellents at the top but many Ordinarys at the bottom. From the business point of view, that adds up to a world of ordinary.

I’m sure everyone would like to be excellent at whatever they do, but the truth is most people don’t even try, for reasons I’ve mentioned above. They don’t want to stand out and become a target. So they subscribe to mediocrity, they go along to get along. It’s sad, really. The world would be a much more interesting place if people didn’t try so hard to get along but pursued their own path to excellence.

Not to mention, with so few of us around, it’s hard to find good bridge partners.

D.A. King


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