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.