If you’re like me you have spent your life in the shadows of society’s best: the best actors, the best entertainers, the best politicians, the best thinkers, the best preachers, the best football players, you get the idea.
Our society holds up the best at everything as examples, or perhaps, goals toward which we are to strive. We drool over the beautiful movie stars, we are amazed at the athletic endeavors of our sports heroes, heck, we even idolize the miscreants of our culture.
How many movies are made about Charlie Manson types. Why, it seems like almost every TV drama opens with a corpse, found in some bizarre manor.
If truth be told, 99% of us are just average, and lucky to be average. We’re not the best at anything. We’re not the fastest or the handsomest or the tallest or the smartest, the prettiest or even the crookedest . . . we’re just average.
We go to work at our average jobs, bring home our average pay, eat our average food, then sit back and watch the “best” of us on our average Flat-screens.
Hey, I’d love to sign a 60 million dollar contract with the New York Yankees and hit 60 homers this season but I can’t. I’d love to invent a cure for Ebola or sail, alone, across the Pacific in some boat I cobbled together out of coconuts and bamboo. But, when it comes to baseball, sailing, or really, anything else. . . I’m lucky if I’m average.
I am a pretty good electrician, an OK building inspector, and I can pretend to play a musical instrument or two. (I’m also a lousy typist) But, in sixty-some years I’ve never ever heard anyone say “hey, why don’t ya sing that song again” or “wow, that was a great looking wiring job.” That’s because, like most people I’m just average.
Society teaches us to hold in esteem the best people at what they do, you know, like Michael Jordan or Mickey Mantle, or Billy Graham. Our culture holds them up as the mark to which we should all aspire.. So, all our lives we struggle, working hard to be the best at whatever we do in a relentless slog through the storms of life.
Usually never ever actually achieving the lofty goals, we console ourselves with the old cliches: “it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game” or “ It’s OK, as long as you tried your best.” Well ….Baloney.
After many decades I have arrived at a conclusion. It’s all baloney! So, I am now going to sit back and collect my Social Security check, knowing full well that it’s really just society’s “Participation Trophy.” I never became Bill Gates or found a cure for Cancer, but doggone it, I’ll get a trophy anyway! Maybe, I should frame the first check and hang it on the wall. (Who am I kidding, I’ll cash it… and hang a cheap photocopy instead)
Yep. I am a winner! No less than the prestigious “United States Government Social Security Administration” has certified my achievement. So, I’ll get my government issued consolation prize and I’ll enjoy it! And all this because, in the end I’m average.
Admit it. You’re probably average too. I hope you’ll get to enjoy your trophy too.
I am looking forward to my average retirement, secure in the knowledge that, after all striving for all these years, at least I made it to average.
If you’d like to share your average retirement plans, drop a line.