Hello average and below average kids and teenagers!

Today you will not be on a stage receiving an honor, a pin, a certificate, a sash, a cord, or a badge for high academic achievement.

Nobody will tell you your future is bright and positive, or that you can do and be anything you want.

You will shuffle along the rest of your school days and years sheepishly wearing the “average” badge—which is actually no badge at all, rather it’s just you sitting small watching everyone else standing tall with honor.

But I want to tell you something.

Something incredible.

It’s something that teachers and parents and friends and neighbors should (but probably have neglected to) be telling you over and over and over again.

It’s something you maybe heard whispers of a few times, but wouldn’t allow your average self to believe it.

It’s time to believe it. And here it is . . . 

Average people are awesome people.

Average people get stuff done. Big stuff. Huge stuff! Stuff you’re probably thinking only the kids on stage can get done, but you’re wrong, because average is amazing. It works just as hard (if not harder) than above average.

Average people inspire below average people, and humble the above average ones.

Average thinks outside of the box, in the box, below the box, and above the box. Average says, “I think I can make this box, and then make it better.” And it does.

Average goes to college and succeeds, and average doesn’t go to college and still succeeds.

Average joins the Armed Forces and leaves as a colonel.

Average joins the armed forces and leaves after five years to go back to college. Average gets to see the whole world, and average gets to help make faraway lands a batter place.

Average goes to work for people, and average creates jobs for people. Average owns small businesses, and average runs corporations.

Average has vocations and trades and skills beyond what most can handle. Average can fix broken toilets, broken cars, and broken computers. Average can also fix broken bodies and broken hearts.

Average works in courtrooms and emergency rooms, in classrooms and in boardrooms. Average leads when leaders grow weary, and follows when leaders need someone to keep troop morale up.

Because “average” in the big picture of life, is anything BUT.

So to all the average students out there today, worried there isn’t a place in this world for average, I want to tell you something incredible.

Average people?

The ones without awards?

Their reward is far greater, and it comes when you grow up, and when life equalizes all of us.

Because one day you will look to your left and to your right, and there will be someone on each side counting on you to be above average. And guess what? You will be, because you actually have been this whole time—there just wasn’t an award for that back in high school.

But you better believe there’s plenty of them for you in adulthood.

Now go be average AND incredible, OK?

Melissa Fenton

Melissa Fenton is a freelance writer, adjunct librarian, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Awareness Ambassador. She writes at http://www.4boysmother.com/. Her writing can be found all over the internet, but her work is mostly on the dinner table.