Are You Above Average?
If someone labeled you as average, how would you feel? What if they said that you are below average? What if they described you as above average? …..Now, before “I don’t even care,” rolls off your lips; what emotions or thoughts did those questions initially trigger? Did they spark anger, frustration; a smile; or a, “Who are they to compare me,” thought? Or is your answer, “Nada?” Well let me rephrase the questions. Are you average, below average or above average? Does the new question spark a different thought? Are you wondering, “What do you want me to gauge when I think of average? Are you referring to my looks; or the way I sing, dance, teach, preach or communicate? Is it my financial status, class, home, wardrobe or intelligence?”
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Just being average is enough! Or what difference does it make if I’m average, above or below?” Or maybe you are saying, “That’s the problem with people today. We spend too much time comparing ourselves with others. This causes us to tear ourselves down when we don’t measure up to others. Or to the contrary, we think too highly of ourselves and consider others as beneath us. All this comparing hinders us?” My friends, If that’s your stance, you have a valid point. But stay with me; and let’s deal with average from another perspective.
What does average have to do with you?
…Let’s look at a few of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of average. They state: “A level typical of a group, class, or series; middle point between two extremes. A single value (as mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values. A level (as of intelligence) typical of a group, class or series. A ratio expressing the average performance especially of an athletic team or an athlete computed according to the number of opportunities for successful performance.” These definitions make one think of numbers, and comparisons. Especially with the usage of the words, “level,” “value,” and “performance.” But average is applicable when describing people.
Not long ago, as I walked down the hallway of my grandsons’ school, I had an epiphany about average. As I passed the students and adults, a full-fledge renewed attack came against my esteem. The thought came into my mind;, “Rochelle you’re so tall. You are taller than most of the women and some of the men in this hallway.” A feeling of frustration came over me. Then I heard, “Why am I so tall and different?”
Different for me at that moment was my being taller or above the average woman. Over the years, until I realized how God endowed me with beauty, taunts fueled my negative view of myself. When you are a tall girl or tall woman, you get verbally attacked. People look at you funny. And, rather than look at your face, the first thing they do is look at your feet to see if you have on heels. Then they call you names like, giant, giraffe, and amazon. Or they say, “You’re really tall. How tall are you?” These questions add to the irritation.
…As I walked down that seemingly never-ending hallway, I had multiple thoughts: “The average woman is five feet six inches; and here I am five feet ten inches tall. I’m four inches taller than the average woman; and with my heels on, I stand the same height or over some men. Why God? This is frustrating. I’m tired of feeling so odd.” ….But God is so full of mercy and love. He spoke to me and combatted those attacks that came against me in the first person. The devil was trying to make me think those were my thoughts. But the Lord delivered me from being bound by those thoughts years ago. The Lord said, “Rochelle, look where you stand. You’re above average.” …..”Wow!” I thought. “That’s a different way of looking at my height and at average!”
Average is not a competitive comparison
Average is applicable when gathering statistics; but let’s see how the numeric approach touches description of people. If you take 7 numbers; (5, 24, 29, 35, 36, 55, 83); and you must find the average (or mean), what will it be? When you give the answer rounded out as 38, there is no comparison. The mean comes through adding each of the numbers in the set of values; and dividing the total by the amount of values added. In other words, my friends, there were no competitive comparisons. It was just an average. And when you look at the total number; the mean in this equation is above the average number of values. It has nothing to do with competing or comparing.
This holds true to each of us. Think about it. Perhaps you are among various people. Each person states what they like. You may like chocolate. Someone else may like rhubarb. I may like lemons. Someone else may like kale. Someone else may like tomatoes. Someone else may like peanuts. Someone else may like collard greens. When you total it all up; even though the average type of food that everyone in this group likes is a vegetable, everyone likes something edible. That makes each person above average; because their single value; their uniqueness stands out.
The numeric scenario reminds me of my son Justin’s above average response to the question, “Are you above average?” He said, “I thought about your question. The idea of above a certain standard of so-called normality makes me think, ‘Well who am I comparing myself to; to label myself as above or below average?’ I would just say that I am myself; because, I don’t look at others as above, below or just average. But they are who they are and I am who I am.”
Where does above average touch your life?
- Being smart brings about attacks as well; especially when you were the second highest of your graduating class. That gift of intelligence that became noticeable in your childhood stayed with you throughout your life. People constantly compete with you to prove that they’re smarter than you. You often tire of the ridicule. But you just do you with no competition. You’re smart, but you’re above average.
- I recently read an article about a very dark-skinned African-American woman whose skin color causes her to stand out. She stated that people always make negative comments about her shade of darkness. She is different and at one point in her life, it didn’t feel good. But one day she discovered her beauty; it included her skin color, and now she no longer cares about thoughts of others. She is different but she is above average.
- Recently, I was at a door, walking out of a building, and it was raining. A male that I know was coming into the door, closing his umbrella. I said, “You’re going to let me walk out in the rain and not offer help?” He said, “My daughter is waiting on me.” (I saw his daughter inside the building talking with a group of people.). I said, “It’s raining. You can walk me to my car and go back in!” I said it a few times. He just chuckled, called his daughter to him and said to me, “You’ve said that to me five times. You already have something covering your head.” He was alluding to my wig. …Now you noticed I started this paragraph off with referring to him as a male. I walked to my car and had a few thoughts that I choose not to divulge n this post. (Pray for me.). ..However, there was a lesson for me in the incident. …On that same day, early in the evening, while I was driving to church, my tire went flat. I drove on the flat to a gas station and called AAA road service. As I stood in the rain, while the tow truck driver changed my tire a man who was buying gas came over to me. He said, “Hi, can I give you my umbrella?” I said, “Yes.” He gave me the umbrella, got in his car and drove off. …Now that was a total stranger. The incident with the male who made the wise crack and allowed me to walk in the rain came to my mind. I thought about my sons. They are far from perfect, but they would never allow ANY lady to step in the rain without offering an umbrella. …I’ll just say this. “There is a huge difference between a grown male and a real man.” My friends, which one of them with the umbrellas is above average? Or are they both in their unique way?
- We live in a day where being as slim as a supermodel is the idea weight. Having even twenty extra pounds in your body weight Is frowned upon in some societies. But I wonder, is there a positive way to view persons who actively try to lose weight; but have difficulty? …And on the flip side, persons who are very slim and have difficulty gaining weight get darts shot at them too. My friends, if you find yourself in either of these categories; just view yourself as totally attractive and above average. You uniquely push for your goal to please God and YOURSELF; while you still look good. That’s above average!
When can better than be taken out of above average?
My friends, the common view of the phrase, “above average” is, “better than the average.” But why does it have to mean better? Some of the synonyms of the word, “above” are; beyond, higher or surpassing. When you are beyond allowing the taunts of the enemy to make you feel bad about yourself and your life, you are above average? When you are you; and beyond the opinions of others. you are above average? When you can see how much favor you have on your life (as James H, says), you are above average. When you have accepted that God has anointed you for such a time as this; you are above average. When you make no excuses for being anointed; you are above average.
Thanks for joining me today. The scripture that’s on my heart today is, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. It says, “And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called him Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested,” (KJV)
I’ll leave you with this question: “Are you above average?” Join me in conversation. I’d love to hear from you. We’ll talk soon
Originally posted 2016-03-15 14:11:59.