Joys of mediocrity
At last, there are a few more people on this planet who have the same views as mine about ‘mediocrity.’
Tim has pointed out there is a slow disappearance of hobbies from our society.
A good old fashioned hobby, a thing you do just for fun.
A hobby is something creative which you do for you and you alone.
You don’t need to be good at it. You don’t need to make money from it. You don’t need to get famous from it. You just need to do it because it makes you happy.
It appears that whatever free time people used to have to nurture a hobby is now taken up by screens.
“Lost here is the gentle pursuit of a modest competence, the doing of something just because you enjoy it, not because you are good at it. Hobbies, let me remind you, are supposed to be something different from work. But alien values like “the pursuit of excellence” have crept into and corrupted what was once the realm of leisure, leaving a little room for the true amateur. The population of our country now seems divided between the semipro hobbyists (some as devoted as Olympic athletes) and those who retreat into the passive, screen leisure that is the signature of our technological moment.”
Tim goes on saying that our hobbies have become too serious, too demanding, too much an occasion to be anxious about whether you are really the person you claim to be.
“If you’re a jogger, it is no longer enough to cruise around the block; you’re training for the next marathon. If you’re a painter, you are no longer passing a pleasant afternoon, just you, your watercolors and your water lilies; you are trying to land a gallery show or at least garner a respectable social media following. When your identity is linked to your hobby — you’re a yogi, a surfer, a rock climber — you’d better be good at it, or else who are you?”
For long, I have been giving myself permission not to strive for excellence in everything.
Some activities I do are meant to give me mere pleasure.
Singing is one of them. I have a loud voice, which sometimes, is neither melodious nor pleasant. But singing gives me lot of joy. Although singing in shower or in car is a safer option but it is no way near the joy I get in singing with others.
That means accepting my mediocrity and reaping the joy without feeling ashamed.