While growing up, I came across a latinic phrase which says “Aut optimum, aut nil” which simply means “either the best or nothing at all”, ever since I have made up my mind never to stand plain and undistinguished. I have made up my mind not follow the customary, usual and normal but to constantly think out of the box, increase my bandwidth and birth the unusual. In essence, I declared a war against mediocrity and the average; I became an enemy of the ordinary.
Taking a quick look at those who have sculptured our world positively, I discovered that they were men and women who dared to take a stand different from the norm and refused anything commonplace and unexceptional. Early twentieth century, all the giants in the field of engineering came out with a consensus that “Metals can never fly” postulating different theories and backing their position with several mathematical facts, but Orville and Wilbur Wright refused to share in the opinion of the multitude and that’s why we have airplanes today; imagine what life would have been without aero planes today.
A call to be an enemy of the ordinary is a call to personal freedom; it’s a call to forever nail the coffin of mediocrity. It’s a deliberate attempt of moving from problem solving to creativity and from being reactive to being proactive. It’s an attempt to help deep- divers not to struggle in shallow waters because of the fear of the unknown. In my quest of being an enemy of the ordinary, I came across Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inaugural speech, which I believe should be a uniform anthem for all willing to take this route.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, talented, gorgeous, fabulous?
Who are you not to be?
You are a child of God; your playing small doesn’t serve the world
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure around you
You are created to make manifest the glory of God within us
It’s not in just some of us, it’s in everyone
And as we let our lights shine, we give others permission to do the same
As we are liberated from our own fears
Our presence automatically liberates others.