Embracing Average: How Being ‘Just Average’ Is the New Revolution

The time is coming when being average becomes rebellion and revolution.

I grew up, consciously and unconsciously, not to a great extent, but enough to make my life difficult – to make me feel special and different from the majority. I remember my beloved grandmother constantly telling me, and I don’t blame her because I know it came from great love, how I was a special child, how I was very good and caring. My grandfather, on my father’s side, since I was the youngest grandchild in the family, also told me the same thing. I remember it as if it were yesterday, “Veka is different from the others, Veka is special.” And so I grew up with that grain of belief that I, in some way, was different.

Around the age of 11, I had a strange dream, you could say it was “prophetic,” that my biggest flaw in life would be my “pride” which I would find difficult to overcome. When I later shared that dream with a meditation teacher, saying, “But I don’t understand why I dreamt that, I don’t think I’m better than others…” He replied, “Yes, you don’t think you’re better, but you think you’re different. That’s where your pride lies.”

Years later, after having worked with people, I noticed an interesting phenomenon that initially annoyed me greatly – others also believe they are very special and different. For example, when we do meditations, I mostly hear more or less similar problems that people face related to focus and concentration, and I’ve heard them a lot because I’ve been teaching meditation for almost a decade now… Of course, people don’t know that you have already heard the same “problem” countless times. And then people get so carried away explaining how it doesn’t work for them or how it’s so difficult for them, while everyone else finds it easy… and you’re like, “Dude, I’ve heard that almost identical problem a thousand times.” At first, I didn’t understand myself, why did it bother me so much?! Why does it bother me that human beings have the need to see their experience as so unique and irreplicable? Over time, I realized that it bothered me precisely because I’m the same way. Because of my own pride. How dare they think they’re so special and different when I am so special and different… shouldn’t I be the only one?

I know that now some motivational speaker among you will take this as an attack on everyone’s individuality and uniqueness, so if that’s the case, miss the point of the text…

The need to be special, different, unique often leads to the need to consciously/unconsciously be BETTER than others. It leads to constantly comparing ourselves to others, competing, or isolating ourselves because we think no one can understand and relate to us, as if our problems and suffering are so unique and not a universal part of being human. And even though our sufferings may differ in quality, we all know what suffering is.

That’s why I appreciate the story of self-compassion. Because it constantly reminds me of my pride from the dream. It brings me back to my humanity, which I share with absolutely everyone. I am not alone, unique – I am part of a broader picture, a story, humanity. I am never alone in my pain because pain is part of being human, which means even a complete stranger on the street knows how I feel. In a strange way, it makes us equal. It doesn’t make me superior to others. It doesn’t make me different from others.

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Being average becomes rebellion and revolution. Especially in today’s world, where the BEST VERSIONS OF OURSELVES are blooming everywhere: Writing openly about all those flaws, failures, and defeats, not with the intention of false vulnerability – “look, I went through that, and NOW I’m so amazing” – but in the context of “I went through that, and here I am sharing it with you… anyone else had a similar experience?” Intent matters. And if our intention is to impose our uniqueness and superiority on others again (even superiority in terms of who has suffered more in life), then we miss the point once again and, in a strange masochistic way, believe that we are better and superior to others – read: different.

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Final words from Vesna

So, in order not to end this text by falling into my old trap of “look, I’ve figured out this wisdom, see how I’m different and better than you,” I want to confess that all of this written here is still my greatest struggle in life, which I face alone, day after day. Just as my dream hinted. I am human – and in that, I am the same as all of you. That is the mantra I repeat to myself every single day.

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