Thursday, March 18, 2010

The blessing of average

I had to chuckle on my commute yesterday. At 5 a.m. while it was still dark, I was driving down a highway with a posted speed limit of 50 mph. I was going about 50. It wasn't long before I had to brake for a car in front of me that was going about 35 for no apparent reason. I felt uncomfortable passing at that time, and as my turnoff was just a couple of minutes away, I just continued to creep along behind him. A few seconds later, a pickup truck zoomed up behind me. He too had to slow down, but only for a moment, as he couldn't stand it and passed the both of us. Three drivers, three speeds. I personally was too fast for one, too slow for the other.

This little scenario was a life lesson for me in one minute. There will always be people going slower than we are in life and others going faster. There will always be people smarter than we are and those not so intelligent. There will always be people more attractive, wealthier, talented, and healthier than we are - and the other way around. I can sing better than some folks, but not as good as others. I can quilt tinier stitches than some folks, but not as tiny as others. I can transcribe faster than some, but not as fast as others. This is why we can't constantly compare ourselves with our friends, neighbors, and even strangers. No matter how hard we try, odds are that we will always be somewhere in the middle. Feeling inferior because we don't measure up makes us unnecessarily depressed. Feeling superior because we are ahead of some other person just makes us unbearably vain.

It's not bad being in the middle, and it's not bad being average. Welcome to the club of normal!

By the way, speaking of going fast, I will be going very fast tomorrow as once more I take the remnants of my fear of flying and put them to the test. I am looking forward to flying to Tennessee (with daughter Rachel and 4-year-old Charlotte) to see my mom and my sister and her family, as well as whatever other relatives or friends I can squeeze in. This will be Charlotte's first time on a plane, so I am hoping I can be a good role model for her and put her at ease. I am certainly looking forward to the week ahead! (Tennessee - hold the tornadoes, please. Thanks.)

1 comment:

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