Tuesday, January 15, 2019

excellence and mediocrity mumblings

Perhaps what is more daunting than a lofty goal yet to be attained is the mediocrity that follows on the heels of success. What if, having striven and sweat, the goal were attained -- the mountain conquered at last -- and, at that lofty height, there were no one to dance with? Bit by accretive bit, the wannabes and phonies reclaim the scene and everyone falls back into the half-baked and ersatz. The bright light of once is now relegated to .... Ph.D.'s and nostrums.

I once mentioned casually to a friend that since she loved tennis to a pro-league fare-thee-well, perhaps she and I could hit the ball around some time. She did not know my capacities or incapacities, but a look of disdain crossed her face: I, as someone not so solemn as she, was an unworthy opponent .... a mediocre opponent. She was striving for excellence -- why should she lower her sights to the likes of me. She was excellence in the making. I was mediocrity on the hoof.

Perhaps the greatest challenge is for excellence that can meet the mediocrity that hovers in all the wings of life. Excellence must be able to outlast and outshine mediocrity... play an excellent game in the face of mediocrity.

I hark back to the post about my mother who, I suspect, attained the heights she presumed might save her ass. She climbed the mountain of excellence, but when she got there, there was no one to dance with.

I'm not entirely sure what subject I am circling, here, but there is something about the mediocrity that falls on an excellence attained. The problem, I suspect, is to imagine an excellence ... or a mediocrity either, I guess.

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