Written by: Abraham Achimugu.
In recent times, there has been a noticeable shift in the society towards rewarding mediocrity over competence. This trend can be observed across various aspects of life, from education and the workplace to the entertainment industry and even personal relationships.
One of the key factors behind this trend is the increasing emphasis on inclusivity and fairness. To promote equal opportunities and avoid discrimination, there is a growing reluctance to challenge or evaluate individuals based on their abilities and achievements. Instead, there is a push to give everyone a chance, regardless of their actual competence or skills. While the intention behind this approach is noble, it often leads to the promotion of mediocrity.
In education, for instance, the focus on standardized testing and grades has been criticized as too harsh and potentially oppressive. As a result, there is a shift towards valuing effort and participation rather than actual knowledge and academic performance. This can undermine the importance of hard work, discourage excellence and create a culture where mediocrity is accepted and even celebrated.
Similarly, in the workplace, the emphasis on teamwork and collaboration sometimes overshadows individual merit and competence. Group projects and collective evaluations can lead to the reward of mediocrity, as those who contribute less or underperform are often shielded from the consequences of their actions. This can create a sense of entitlement and discouragement among high-performing individuals, who may feel that their efforts are not adequately recognized or rewarded.
The entertainment industry is another realm where the reward of mediocrity has become increasingly apparent. From reality TV shows to viral sensations on social media, there is a fascination with ordinary people achieving fame and success without any particular talent or skill. These individuals are celebrated for their relatability, rather than their actual accomplishments or abilities. This perpetuates the notion that being average is not just acceptable but also desirable.
Furthermore, the trend of rewarding mediocrity is not limited to external factors but is also evident in personal relationships. To maintain harmony and avoid conflict, individuals may choose to overlook or tolerate subpar behavior from their partners, friends, or family members. This acceptance of mediocrity can lead to a stagnant relationship dynamics where there is little incentive for personal growth or improvement.
While the intention behind rewarding mediocrity may be rooted in fairness and inclusivity, it ultimately undermines the values of competence, excellence and hard work. It promotes a culture where average performance is not just accepted, but also celebrated, potentially discouraging individuals from striving for greatness. To strike a balance, it is crucial to recognize and reward both effort and achievement, valuing competence while also providing opportunities for improvement, growth and development.