According to the legend, Adi Shankaracharya’s parent Shivaguru had a dream in which Lord Shiva gave him two choices: either a prodigious son with a short lifespan or a mediocre one with longevity. And Shivaguru, opted for prodigy. And thus Shankaracharya was born.
My focus of this post is not the Shankaracharya, but the fascination with the prodigy and indifference towards mediocrity that lie within human society. We all long to be the best in life. We admire and adore that is the best. It is in human nature to yearn for extraordinary and perhaps this yearning is behind the many feats that human civilization has achieved.
But is being mediocre such a sin that Shankara’s parent opted for a prodigy? No doubt that the prodigies contribute to the world in more substantial terms than who are not, yet the value of being mediocre in this world becomes no less. Being mediocre means having no special skills yet having strong zeal to excel. Being mediocre means having the opportunity to improve upon with every single day that is passing by. And learning new things everyday accomplishes the goal of being a human. And as long as we accomplish this goal, there should be no shame in being mediocre.
All gods of ours have to be extraordinary in their image. We cannot tolerate our gods weeping and being weak. That is why we often glorify their lives with events that make them a larger than life existence. But we forget that our gods have also felt average and mediocre on occasions. When wife of our lord was abducted, he must have also felt being average and mediocre human being, when our lord had to retreat from a battlefield, he must also have felt average and mediocre.
What I am trying to say is that being average and mediocre is also about being part of God and Nature. So being mediocre should also be respected when we consider about traits of human beings.
We should celebrate mediocrity for it ensconces in itself the seed of grit to grow with life.
P.S: This post is outcome of some ‘inspirational talking’ from Sujatha Sathya (an accomplished writer and a fellow blogger) at the time when I was feeling de-motivated to write anything.