Mediocrity Is A Sin


Sunday 01 September, 2013 by Uncle Spike

After watering all the veggies before 7am this morning, I took a rare half an hour off before the laser-like sun blasted over the tops of the mountains; causing the thermometer to have it’s morning cardiac jump – as 25 heads rapidly towards the 40.

Anyway, I grabbed the moment, and sat on the balcony, feet up, mug of decaf coffee, and a good book… I‘m nearing the end of the 3rd book in a trilogy by Campbell Armstrong. Actually, it’s taken me over 14 months I admit, what with a busy year on the farm and plenty of building work, but I will finish soon(ish).

On page 342 of ‘Heat’, I came across a few sentences that got me thinking. I drifted off into that little old dusty area of my subconscious where this week’s Sunday Philosophical Moment occurred.


After being widowed a few years ago, I had time to take stock of my life, where I was at, and where I was heading. I decided it was the right time for me to make a few wholesale changes, and so, I up’d sticks and emigrated. Happily married now with a small person in tow, I now spend much of my life outside in the fresh air, working our small fruit farm by hand, growing most of our own fruit and veggies etc. No more am I confined to that open plan office cubbyhole. No more never-ending schedules full of meetings. No more appraisals, self, staff or otherwise. And yes, on the whole, no more unwanted stress. Ok, so life isn’t perfect, far from it, but who would want that anyway; all sounds very dull and boring… 

I still have my computer, but other than that, much of the modern trappings that constituted my old life are all but a dim and distant memory. The pace and inherent laziness of modern western life was something I was glad to leave well behind.

Are we filling our lives with more and more convenience-based humdrum, but very little substance? Makes you think doesn’t it? 

… … … … … … … …

An extract taken from ‘Heat’, by Campbell Armstrong,
published by Corgi books in 1997.

“Things of value take time to build Jimmy. We Americans have been raised in a world of instant gratification. Want a burger? OK, you get one in a twinkling at a Burger King. No waiting. Life insurance? No sweat. A paramedic will call at your home within the hour and run some health tests. Car loan? Pick up the phone. This high-speed concept is a dangerous thing, because the quicker we do things, the less quality they have. And after a while we don’t notice any more. What we think is high-speed efficiency is actually the slipway to mediocrity”.

… … … … … … … …

7 thoughts on “Mediocrity Is A Sin

  1. timecollage says:

    Yes, there’s always the question of what really makes us happy, is it more achievements in your career in a big city, having it all, or simply enjoying life and taking it easy? I think we are so lured by this speed, that we forget to live; paradoxically we don’t have the time for it, even though everything is at arm’s reach. But it’s precisely because of this that time has no value. And it’s a very pointed connection to mediocrity. Mediocrity in so many ways.


  2. […] My previous Sunday Philosophical Moment […]


  3. ballerina95 says:

    It is always wonderful to have an opportunity to change our lives. Though I admire how you were able to have a new lease on life, the manner by which it came about is one I would rather not encounter for a long time. I rather enjoy life with the hubby and I would choose my current routine rather than one where I do all I want without him by my side. 🙂


    • Uncle Spike says:

      Quite agree… to start afresh, completely, was a challenge, but after a while spent feeling all tyhe expected self-pity, I though… how better to honour the memory, than to use their love to inspire one to go on and start anew.


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