Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and others have it thrust upon them.

Joseph Heller, in Catch 22

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Joseph Heller tells us something useful here.  He describes human experience today in mass, exclusionary secular culture – in the disordered state we presently find ourselves.

How so?  Substitute “inept” for mediocre. (By “inept” I mean nonsensical, foolish, incompetent.)

Bobby’s Line Graph works this way: imagine a line graph with zero on one end and 100 on the other and 50 as the mid-point.  Now imagine people are aligned along the line graph.

In Bobby’s Line Graph there are three sections: 0-44, 45-55, 56-100.  We shall call them section A (0-44), section B (45-55), section C (56-100).

Sections A houses those Heller sees born to a state of being – in our line graph, a state of relative ineptitude.  In our discussion these people, without any fault of their own, cannot easily make much sense of their being and life around them.

Section C, however, is composed of those who cultivate and “achieve” ineptitude. They attend university, gain positions of “authority,” status, privilege, money, power, public voice, celebrity.  They come to believe that they are “special,” know what is best for everyone – often exempting themselves from the grand designs they foist on others. These people cannot easily concede their implicit human limitations.  Humility escapes them.

Section B is the “golden mean.”  There one finds those who are comfortable with their own limitations and aware of their faults and imperfections.  They are the humble ones who work hard, are courteous, thoughtful, generous, helpful, contented, at ease, relaxed, balanced.

A healthy society has a critical mass (not a majority) of people in Section B.

Such a culture is not in perpetual conflict, has a cohesion, is not divided, over-regulated, “ruled” from the top down, has an ethos of trust and confidence and is not disintegrated.

It is a culture that adheres to what is sensible, smart, fair, thoughtful, considerate, stable, wise, peaceful, honorable, moral, and self-governing and self-sustaining. This culture presents confident citizens and seeks excellence while being aware of its human limits. It is one that is unified and seeks the greatest good for the greatest number.

It is a culture that draws its leaders from those in Section B, men and women capable to recognizing, and honoring, others more than self; they are men and women who see “the big picture” – those who can inspire and rally their fellow citizens to do what is courageous, virtuous, sacrificial, best.

To maintain personal peace and tranquility you want to occupy Section B and associate with those found there.  Being governed by those in Section C can bring incalculable chaos, confusion, conflict, disorder and dismay to your life.

To assess your culture and determine with whom you will engage and those with whom you will minimize contact remember that there is not an equal distribution along the line segments identified as Sections A and C.  At some times in culture (as now in the U.S.) clusters may form closer to the end of Section C and nearer to the end portion of Section A. Yes, a culture can cultivate ineptness giving rise to more people in Section C, and it can dis-empower others and consign them intergenerationally, geographically, etc. to Section A.

Listen to St. Augustine: “This is the very perfection of man, to find out his own imperfections.”  One finds these people in Section B.

Grow Section B.  Forget Section C.  Set a good example for those in Section A, free them of their consignment to dependence and hopelessness.  Restore America.

Shalom.

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