Last year was the hottest on record in Australia with temperatures soaring into the 40’s and the discomfort factor hitting “unbearable” for those without air-conditioning. Last week the movies were overflowing as people opted for a refreshing air-conditioned environment while munching on popcorn. At the same time, across the world in the USA the temperatures were abnormally cold, with icy polar air threatening to freeze eyeballs.
On average it was not too bad but average doesn’t cut the mustard. The average temperature between Australia and USA was a very pleasant 0 degrees Celsius. It is a meaningless statement but statistically it is valid. One way of looking at averages is to take all the variability and conform it to a single value. The National Geographic for example describes the average person as being a 28-year-old Han Chinese man.
So much for averages! No one wants to be average but we get caught becoming average because of peer pressure or group pressure. We want to be different but not too different. Society demands that we all eventually become the same. We are taught to conform. Being non- average is a risky business.
To “not be average” takes hard work. It requires thinking outside of the square. It requires taking a risk and pushing the boundaries. This does not mean that the risks should be reckless and the boundaries impossible. It requires for example having carers and doctors who are prepared to think differently about illness. It means asking the Oliver Twist question “Please Sir I want some more”.
To avoid the well -trodden path of averageness requires you to make up your own mind about things, to take risks in determining your own destiny and to make your own way. It requires challenging conventional wisdom.
In modern western society we are accustomed to being politically correct and complying with the status quo on issues. We should be challenging everyday wisdom. We should be challenging fictitious facts that are taken to be the truth because someone else said so. We should be challenging the average view that is taken for granted.
We are browbeaten to accept the average thought on politics, religion, God, spirituality, friendship, sexuality , contraception and abortion, global warming , resources , finances and so we can go on and on. Many of the points are valid, but they are not all correct. What do you think? What is your choice in the matter?
From my perspective, and I may be wrong, I chose to think differently on a number of matters. I believe in God for example. I have made up my mind about a number of issues based on this belief. I am at risk of being a non- average doctor by my choices. I may stick out like a sore thumb but I am not settling for average.
I encourage you to consider your position in life. Are you getting average healthcare? Do your views reflect the average views of everyone else in life? Is the each day the same as every other day and are these days the same as every other person’s day? I challenge you to walk off the well -trodden path of average and do one thing in your own unique way.
Why not tell us about it?