48 Observations on mediocrity:
A best-seller is the gilded tomb of a mediocre talent.
A man attains an elevated position only when his mediocrity prevents him
from being a threat to others. And for this reason a democracy is never
governed by the most competent, but rather by those whose insignificance
will not jeopardize anyone else's self-esteem.
A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great
idea that inspires no one.
-Mary Kay Ash
A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild,
extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp.
Caricature is the tribute that mediocrity pays to genius.
Don't rationalize mediocrity.
-George W. Miller
Each time a mediocre singer performs, he is saying, in effect, 'This is
good enough for you.' The audience, thrust into that familiar American
mood of knowing something is wrong but not knowing what it is,
unconsciously absorbs the insult and projects it back onto the mediocre
performer in the form of inattention, rudeness and noise.
Equal rights for the sexes will be achieved when mediocre women occupy
Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself.
That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner
drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.
Good behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre
minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who
refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to
express his opinions courageously and honestly.
In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
In this country we encourage 'creativity' among the mediocre, but real
bursting creativity appalls us. We put it down as undisciplined, as
somehow 'too much.'
Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.
It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late.
It's disheartening to know that you live in a country that's just
teeming with semi-literate, mediocre psychos.
Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
-Fulton J. Sheen
Media, the plural of mediocrity.
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Mediocrity requires aloofness to preserve its dignity.
Mediocrity: It takes a lot less time and most people won't notice the
difference until it's too late.
-Larry Kersten, PhD
Moderation has been made a virtue in order to curb the ambition of the
great, and also to console those who are mediocre in either fortune or
-Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people,
to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them
in their mediocrity.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
My success is the result of not being satisfied with mediocrity, and in
making the most of my opportunities.
-Milton S. Hershey
No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is
just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American
Telephone and Telegraph Company.
Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one
consists of leaving about three or four things a day unsaid.
Only ambitious nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough
drafts. It is like passing around samples of one's sputum.
Only the mediocre are always at their best.
People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with
mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.
Politicians fascinate because they constitute such a paradox; they are
an elite that accomplishes mediocrity for the public good.
Possibly the only dismaying aspect of excellence is that it makes living
in a world of mediocrity an ongoing prospect of a living Hell.
Pumpkin pie is the epitome of mediocrity. The best pumpkin pie you ever
ate isn't that much better than the worst.
Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes.
Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.
The business world worships mediocrity. Officially we revere free
enterprise, initiative and individuality. Unofficially we fear it.
The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render
mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
-John Stuart Mill
The mediocrity of everything in the great world of today is simply
appalling. We live in intellectual slums.
The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.
The word media is plural for mediocre.
Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.
Unpretending mediocrity is good, and genius is glorious; but a weak
flavor of genius in an essentially common person is detestable . It
spoils the grand neutrality of a commonplace character, as the rinsings
of an unwashed wine-glass spoil a draught of fair water.
Wendell Holmes, Sr.
We are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which means a
cult of mediocrity.
We mistrust anything that too strongly challenges our ideal of
What the crowd requires is mediocrity of the highest order.
Why create mediocrity when you can copy genius?
Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as mediocre
You have the army of mediocrities followed by the multitude of fools. As
the mediocrities and the fools always form the immense majority, it is
impossible for them to elect an intelligent government.
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