Posted by: Peter Scott | February 7, 2006

The cult of average – an off topic posting

Average is comfortable, people don’t want to stand out from the crowd and be noticed. Having the ‘wrong’ height, build, or even dress sense makes people feel uneasy about who they are. True some organisations go out of their way to recruit people that ‘don’t stand out’, but that concept of average stops at the physical presence of a person. Is average really a good thing to be? Well, average weight for height is possibly medically sound, but in almost all other things being yourself is far more important than striving for some artificial norm. Everyone has something to offer to humanity.

But thinking yourself to be average and thereby stifling your potential is the bigger crime than a desire to conform.

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Responses

  1. I read something recently that stated ‘average’ people are happier. Standing out from the crowd, for possitive or negative reasons, leads to social isolation resulting in reduced levels of happiness.

    Sounds possible, but I guess anything can be made to sound believable if you wrap it up the right way 🙂

    Being yourself is good, but people have to be careful not to become a caricature of themselves, which is quite easy to do unless put the brakes on occasionally. It’s far too easy to say, “That’s the way I am!”, as an excuse for not trying to compromise.

    Far too deep for a Tuesday 🙂

    Cheers

    Tim…

  2. Is this still about the lilac suit….?


  3. I read something recently that stated ‘average’ people are happier. Standing out from the crowd, for possitive or negative reasons, leads to social isolation resulting in reduced levels of happiness.

    I bet an average guy wrote that. heh

    LewisC

  4. It is true some people aspire for “the Golden Mean”, but my personal conviction is that rather than focusing my efforts on becoming more like others, I prefer focusing my efforts on being a better me. That results in being worse in some areas, but much better in others, and over-all (I think) a better person.

    To me, the “Golden Mean” is like the lowest common denominator. Its like “database independence.” Just use your existing database to best of its abilities rather than try to make yours like other database applications.

  5. I recall seeing studies that showed geometrically average facial structures in a population are considered the most beautiful. It really makes one think about some celebrities plastic surgery.

    How can a blog about random thoughts have anything off-topic?

  6. Maybe if it’s not truely random 🙂


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