The Merits of Mediocrity

Or, the Advantage of Being Average

Billy Frazier
5 min readNov 3, 2023
Credit: Pexels

Mediocrity is a gift.

You might not agree, especially if you’re also an American who was raised on the values of meritocracy and rugged individualism, but it’s true.

Think back to all of your high school friends who were star athletes or the valedictorians of your class. How much pressure did they face from well-meaning parents, teachers, and coaches who unknowingly pigeonholed them into one path for the rest of their lives? How satisfied would you say they are now?

The word “gifted” is a curse we place on certain kids at a young age because in our minds they have more potential and deserve to stand out from those who are “average” or “mediocre.”

What we all fail to realize is that averageness isn’t a weakness — it’s a strength. Instead of stigmatizing someone for being average, we should be celebrating them. Kids who are average can end up better adjusted and, in many cases, happier and more successful than their more gifted peers.

I should know because I was the poster child for average.

I grew up in an average middle-class suburb in an average city in the Midwest which, in case you didn’t know, is the most average part of the US. I got average grades, I was (below) average in sports, and I…



Billy Frazier

Principal experience designer, writer, and leader who’s fumbling forward through a creative career while helping others do the same.