Heroism is Rising Above Mediocrity

As many of us are excitedly anticipating the upcoming sequel to The Incredibles, I think of a line from the first movie that easily stuck to audiences.

Bob: They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity.

Bob was never satisfied with living a status quo life with a solid paying job in a suburb. Comfort was his plague. Living in mediocrity was a disease and nothing to be celebrated over. Doing something great, brilliant, and superb that resulted in helping others was the definition of heroism. But the drive to do something super – be super – led him to listening to police scanners to bust up a crime instead of going bowling. Being super means never remaining in the comforts of mediocrity. The problem is mediocrity tends to feel so nice and rising above it is a sacrifice.

A quote from Jim Collins’ Built to Last also stuck with me and I think resonates with Bob, “Staying in the comfort zone does little to stimulate progress.” Progress doesn’t come from comfort. It comes from being uncomfortable, unsettled, and non-complacent. The world didn’t advance from comfort. Human flourishing doesn’t come from a satisfaction with mediocrity. Forward movement and amazing betterment of human civilization comes from those who dream, fantasize, and imagine and from those same individuals who step out to pursue the fantastic. Progress comes from those who dare to change what is wrong, but even more so from those who dare to change what is not wrong. True heroism requires risk, the risk of losing the comfort of mediocrity.

I believe the heroic mentality is how artists tend to think. Artists try to rise above mediocrity, creating wasn’t hasn’t been created before, offering a new perspective, challenging conventions, inspiring audiences to greater heights than could’ve been expected, and communicating vital messages that are difficult to receive.

I think within the spectrum of our current reality between the 20-something school shootings to the way we daily drive and interact with strangers, our world needs more heroes. We need more people who will adopt the mindset of rising above mediocrity, which means a genuine willingness to sacrifice the comfort of conventionality. We need more people who are willing to be not mediocre about love, mercy, kindness, justice, righteousness, truth, and morality. We need people who will be super in these areas. Be radical with love. Be bold with kindness. Be appalling with justice and righteousness. Be inspiring with morality and mercy. Be robust with truth. In so doing, we will stimulate progress – not the progress of science and technology but of humanity. Rise above mediocrity.

2 responses to “Heroism is Rising Above Mediocrity

  1. Dear Brian,
    I just finished the narrative you wrote about yourself on the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission newsletter. Thank you so much.

    Very inspiring, & reminds & reinforces in my mind who I am, & will continue to be.
    As a West African Cultural Artist/Dancer/Teacher/Performer… . .Writer & Poet; I have experienced the delight of bringing my light into the classroom on stages throughout the US. I have worked through the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts
    Commission;, Calif.~Poets~in~the~Schools: Arizona State Commission of the Arts; Collier Arts Commission in Naples, Florida & the African~American Historical Society in Fort Myers, Florida. I have had the opportunity to perform for celebrities & communities, & performing for the former President of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela was a lighting rod moment.
    I look forward to meeting you, & feel as if I have met you already. God continue to bless you & me, as we pour our good into God’s good earth.
    (Imani) Ayo Sharpe~Mouzon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s