Author: Wale Akinyemi
 A Legacy of Mediocrity

A Legacy of Mediocrity

A Legacy of Mediocrity?

As a generation what legacy are we leaving for future generations? This might sound like an abstract question with no well defined answer. To some it might even appear to be a rhetorical question but in the answer to that question lies the power to determine the quality of life that we live today.

There are three categories of people. Those who tell you what they did. Those who tell you what they are doing and those who tell you what they will do. The first category are so consumed with the past that they forget to live the present. The next category are too consumed with the present they forget that a future is coming and the final category are too consumed about talking about the future that they have no present relevance. Our objective should be to maximize all three. It should be to use our history to shape our future. In essence I should use my knowledge of the past to live the present and shape the future. Unfortunately not many people are living life from this perspective. Most are living from the position of either or. They are either in the past,  in the present or the future. Great legacies are the result of living with the three perspectives in view.

The day you die will it matter that you lived? Are you truly living or merely existing? A day will come when the world will pass judgment on your life. That day you will no more be there to define yourself. The parameters that will be used to judge you are simple. Did you live a mediocre life or did you live an inspiring life. Those who live in the either or mode – who either live in yesterday today or tomorrow will live mediocre lives. Yes. We need to live our lives in 3 D. Only those with a 3 Dimensional perspective live inspiring lives. They learn from history, their lives are history in the making and the future is their history. They are those who live a life with a cause. If you have not yet found a cause to die for you have not truly found a reason to live. To die means to give your life. Do you have a cause for which you can dedicate your life? If you don’t you will end up like a lot of African politicians. They stand for nothing. Their political party affiliations are not dependent on ideology but on which party will give them the ticket to run for elected office. No wonder many of them are great only in life. When they die, their memory fades faster than the setting of the sun and very few lessons of inspiration can be drawn from their lives. On the other hand, 152 years after being elected president, Abraham Lincoln is still a relevant force in the world today. His name and his story still inspires because against all odds, he followed his dream. Against all odds, he dared to fail. Against all odds he rose up from the ashes of failure and used the ashes to build a great legacy.

The quest for legacy is a panacea for mediocrity. I refuse to be mediocre because I want to be remembered as an inspiration and not a warning. I refuse to be mediocre because if I am,  generations after me will have to cope with the fact that I just passed through the earth without leaving a mark.  I refuse to be mediocre because it is the most boring version of existence. Mediocrity says, I see the problem but someone else will fix it. Mediocrity says, I will keep quiet because I don’t want to be misunderstood. Mediocrity says I will do nothing because I don’t want to be wrong.  Mediocrity says, let’s just maintain what has already been established and lets live a normal human life.

The normal human experience was never meant to be an average human experience. Human beings have built roads under the water. Human beings have built gravity defying vessels called planes. Human beings have explored the depths of the ocean with submarines that they built. Human beings have been to the moon and back. Interestingly every human being has exactly the same wiring for their brains. The normal human experience was meant to be a mentally stimulating adventure in faith.  Every human being has the right of choice.  Mediocrity is a choice and not a sentence. A submission to the average human experience is an enlistment in the army of mediocrity. There is more to life than waking up, going to work and getting a salary at the end of the month. No one will remember you because of the salary you got. What difference do you want to make in this world? There is no time like now to take the first step. Begin to live your life in 3D!

Have a thoughtful weekend.   twitter@waleakinyemi


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