Average is Exceptional?


When we are newly born, the world revolves around us. Everything we do is a wonder to those around us, as though we’re God’s own miracle. Although now that I see it on my computer screen, I realize that we actually are. Nonetheless, read on.

Even as we grow up we think there is nothing more important than our own joys and troubles and loves and hates. Every experience is exaggerated, because our experiences are all that matter; at least that’s what we believe.

But then we grow up even more. We meet more people, and connect with many more through blogs and websites and social networking places. And as our study set increases, so to speak, we realize that we are, infact, more average than we believe ourselves to be. You think your neighbour is the weirdest person ever because she starts every conversation with detailed descriptions of her current ailments, but then you find out most neighbours, and all landladies, have exactly the same habit. You think you’re unique in your habit of reading the last few pages of a mystery novel first, then you find out that the roommate of your project partner does exactly the same thing.

I noticed this because of Sherlock. I used to think he has an overflowing repertoire of things-ordinary-dogs-don’t-do; e.g. his habit of rubbing against my legs and between my legs (like cats are wont to) when I get back home was strange to me til I interacted with my neighbour’s Boxer and found out it’s a common trait. So many little (I want to say cute but probably shouldn’t) things dogs do are sort of ingrained into their genetic material. I haven’t trained Sherlock to be a guard dog, but he still goes on intruder-alert mode when he feels necessary. I’ve trained him to ‘shake’ when he wants something, but he still ‘begs’! Made me wonder if it’s a collective-consciousness thing. Then it made me wonder if it’s the same with humans. And I found out it is, more than I thought it would be.

Characteristics we think are exceptional become average when we add in more figures. (I suppose that is a statistics law or something, but it never feels nice when you are the statistic yourself)

So is there no such thing as a truly exceptional individual? I look at history, and find that of course, there are. I think it’s the combination of all their individual, mostly average, traits that makes people exceptional.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Average is Exceptional?

  1. We know that we ARE actually unique as individuals. This is demonstrated by the DNA that you cite. But retracing those genetics to Darwinian discovery shows us that we’re also part of a larger genus with evolutionary traits. For me, this satisfies the contradiction that you describe above. Why else does every child pick his/her nose or chew their fingernails while still being the unique person that they are?

    • But isn’t it fascinating as well as depressing that we are unique as well as similar at the same time?

      • No. Its just a fact. We have control over the fascinating part but the rest is just biology – why concern yourself with something you have no control over? But because we’re unique, you and I are allowed to have different opinions on that 😀

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