By Umer Raza Bhutta
Mediocrity can talk, but it is for genius to observe. Benjamin Disraeli – British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman and literary figure.
There isn’t any dearth of Mediocrity these days. When you read through the meaning of Mediocrity you will be able to understand and relate this word. There are many meanings and synonyms of Mediocrity. It is a noun and means ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding, a person of second-rate ability or value; a team of aging second-raters,averageness,ordinariness, mundaneness, mundanity, insignificance, indifference, inferiority, meanness, unimportance, poorness, nonentity, nobody, lightweight (informal), cipher, non-person.
There is so much happening around us and there are too many people doing this. One can stand up and start doing anything, the audience will be there to help that one shine. One can act like monkey, walk like squirrel, jump like kangaroo, hoop like rabbit, shout like donkey, talk ill of today, abuse the government and rulers and still can have followers. We have seen that those who are in minority act, perform and behave gracefully, thus fulfilling their objectives with pride. Those who are in majority act, perform and behave like a heard of sheep thus confusing their objectives. This is what is happening in Pakistan too. I was thinking of writing this upsurge of mediocrity for sometime but could not get the right mood to do so. Perhaps it was mediocrity in me that helped me not to write (or it is the mediocrity indeed that helped to write now).
When I first thought of mediocrity, it was because of the impeding onslaught of the media. The 24/7 channels and their need to remain hooked all the time. The constant need of the viewer and the choice with people to just watch anything available. The availability of the idiot box in abundance in each house and the independence of the viewer to sit and just change the channel have enhanced the mediocrity. Even within this gruesome competition mediocrity has seeped in. When there was one TV channel there was no competition but still whatever was produced had a mass appeal and contained a meaning. Taking this reference to another popular agenda i.e. Politics, there were few politicians many years ago and they generated an appeal. The choice was little, yet it was firm. When I thought about writing this I had media mediocrity in mind, but when I delayed the writing another mediocrity surfaced (though it was already there, yet not with the force as it is now) i.e Mediocrity in standing for the people and Pakistan.
We have seen many men of army, civil society, religious clerics to stand up for people and claiming to be their saviors. I take politicians out of this list as they are politicians and most of them are expected to act abnormally. The most recent savior of our system and society is Dr. Qadri. Mediocrity has indeed seeped in. I believe many were taken to participate in his 23rd march Jalsa, yet there might be many who came by themselves. Mediocrity has indeed seeped in the system. Those who went there to listen him, might have been impressed by the his rhetoric. Indeed he is a good orator, but what he presented was indeed mediocre, how he later defended himself even further exposed his mediocrity. He did one good thing at the same time, not only exposed his own mediocrity but also shown the whole nation that how Mediocrity has seeped in to us. We have allowed him to come and present his unfounded, uncooked and easy to be exposed agenda. We have allowed him to make many of us believe that it is OK for a Pakistani (so-called) popular leader to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Queen besides considering Allah as Sovereign. We have allowed him to make us believe that a Pakistani leader can be such who feels that his Pakistani passport is a trouble for him to appear for international conferences. We have allowed him to make us believe that Nelson Mandela was not a great leader who spent 27 year in Jail but never escaped. We have allowed him to make us believe that Abdul Sattar Edhi is not called worldwide on Pakistani Passport. We have allowed him to make us believe that we 180 million Pakistanis are indeed Mediocre and we deserve to have him around as a savior.
When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity. Napoleon Bonaparte