It’s easy to pick on someone when they have characteristics which aren’t like yours. That person is too fat, for example. But it’s not the fat you have an issue with. It’s their lack of averageness. This frees you up to also condemn others for being too skinny.
Picking on someone who is intellectually stunted is so easy. Almost too easy. As such, you need a bigger challenge. So as a group, you decide to pick on someone who is intellectually gifted. Now that can be more of a challenge. But not really when you have numbers on your side.
Many who are small are subjected to teasing and being pushed around by their more average peers. But do we leave the tall people alone? We may not be able to push them around but use jokes to keep them in line. “What’s the weather like up there?” Or calling someone Tree if they are very tall.
It is my belief that this has been going on for many, many years. In fact I think someone who was intellectually gifted in math and language came up with a counter plan. They decided to also name the average as being the mean. They did this knowing full well that the mean can also mean the nasty.
Mean Girls is coming out this week and is based on the 2000s movie but is reimagined as a musical. So I hope this is timely. Now you can understand my title. But let’s take a look at what happens to the mean after middle school and high school.
One of the things that people supporting the bullied say is that it gets better. After high school and middle school, things get better. Averageness doesn’t rule as much in later life. Why? Because averageness is exhausting.
Usually the workforce doesn’t want average employees. Taller, or stronger workers are more likely to be wanted for physically demanding jobs. The intellectually gifted may be better at some desk jobs. The big overweight people may be better bouncers or other jobs in which they don’t need to be fast runners,
It’s tough to stay average. Middle aged people often sprout bellies and other weight gain. Do you still want to be the average in middle age? You’ll probably be a good deal heavier than in your youth, then.
Then, too, average becomes boring after awhile. Say you are a person who likes hearing about famous battles. Soon you will have memorized how famous battles went in history and you become the local expert. Experts aren’t average. To be average you almost can’t have a hobby.
In short, mean doesn’t win in later life.