Rejecting The Tyranny Of Average

Here in the United States we live in a coun­try that is run by statis­tics. Not only are they the driving force in most polit­i­cal deci­sions and campaigns, they also control what we see on TV and what we can buy in stores.

The prob­lem with this obses­sion with statis­tics is that inevitably both politi­cians, retail­ers and manu­fac­tur­ers want to target the largest group they can iden­tify, or the mode as it’s referred to in statis­tics. But in most cases the largest group doesn’t actu­ally consti­tute the major­ity. It’s just the largest iden­ti­fi­able group.

That’s why when you go into Payless you can never find any shoes in wide sizes. Why polit­i­cal parties always skew to the extremes when their campaign­ing, only to have to reign it in when they Govern. Why I’m stuck paying for a dozen sports chan­nels that I don’t want to watch on my satel­lite dish.

The Tyranny of Aver­age goes way beyond that though and affects every part of your life. Aver­age is normal and we all want to be normal don’t we? We want to fit in. We want to be accepted. We don’t want to be differ­ent.

But we shouldn’t. Aver­age isn’t clever. Aver­age isn’t fast. Aver­age is just… adequate. Aver­age is over­weight and not enough exer­cise. Aver­age is barely read’s books. Doesn’t vote except for pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. These are not things to aspire to.

And yet being normal, being aver­age is consid­ered a compli­ment. Politician’s want to show that their an “aver­age joe”. If you’re too clever then you’re elit­ist. TV is dumbed down to the lowest common denom­i­na­tor. When people aren’t aver­age, they stay quiet about it. They keep it a secret.

But the real­ity is nobody is completely aver­age and we should shout that fact out so that people aren’t afraid to be differ­ent. Because it’s from these small forms of prej­u­dice that the bigger one’s stem. The feel­ing that we’re all the same is what makes it so easy for people to be sexist or racist or homo­pho­bic. If you accept that in fact none of us are the same, none of us are aver­age, suddenly it’s a lot harder to justify the prej­u­dice.

So reject the Tyranny of Aver­age. I don’t drink alco­hol. I hate sports. I love sci-fi. I’m over-educated and prob­a­bly under­achiev­ing because I don’t have any real drive to win or be the best. I’m not aver­age. I’m not normal. And neither are you.

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?