When last did you aim to be "Average"?
Huh?? Average? Aren't we all trying to -
"Raise the bar"?
"Do more with less"?
"Have zero defects"?
"Have breakthrough relationships"?
"Be first or second in our market, or get out"?
I am very proud of my son. He brought home a great report card last week and made The Honor Roll. This is a big deal because my son is a victim of our local "school" system and is now attending a private school (Ben Bronz
Academy) where the wonderful teachers and staff have sensible strategies. (I will skip the "Public School System versus LD
Students" Soap Box tonight)
My son is blossoming into a fine young man that will burst any father's proud chest.
Years ago - maybe decades ago, I saw a vivid and touching scene in a movie. An American high-school boy (let's call him Sonny) comes home from school and complains that he is so "Average". His parents live in a suburban house, drive an "Average" sedan, his parents work at "Average" white collar jobs. Sonny is frustrated because his school is hosting an exchange student. The exchange student (a girl) is a talented musician. She is the same age as Sonny. Parents, music teachers and audiences are showering her with attention and praise. Sonny complains bitterly to his Dad and throws tantrums about being "Average". Sonny also wants to be "Special" like the exchange student.
Sonny's Dad puts up with it for awhile then loses his patience. We cut to a scene in a slum. Boarded up storefronts, abandoned
cars and graffiti
convey depression and hopelessness. Sonny and his Dad walk down the street
and Dad explains that this is where he grew up. Dad wished, visualized and generally worked his butt off to get an education, get a white collared job and have a mortgage on a house in suburbia. In short, Dad's dream is to be "Average" and although he appreciated the talented musician, Dad was content to have achieved his status. Dad was also proud that Sonny was in an "Average" school and had a better shot at life than Dad did.
Let's bring all of this together. By pulling off some risky challenges over the past 24 years with the grace of God, I have managed to get a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Information Systems from UNISA
and an MBA from an American University. When I left high school at 17 years old with no job and without a hint of possibility of getting a college education, fate seemed to have selected me to always be a financially challenged blue-collar worker. In 1982 I had no income, no car and lived in South Africa. We now live in Connecticut. My son is an Honor Roll Student and Above "Average" in this Land of Opportunity.
Thanks Sonny, I still remember the lesson that your Dad taught me through a movie scene, decades ago. Being "Average" depends on your perspective, and for some of us, all we could ask for in one lifetime is to be an "Average" American. I am grateful to be "Average"
Labels: Musings on life