About

What To Expect When… is the blog of Kirk Griebel, a Lutheran pastor and writer from Owatonna, MN. The blog title is a play on the popular What to Expect When You’re Expecting franchise of books and resources for expectant parents. I delve into ways that people act in expected or predictable ways even when the unexpected happens.

Since the What to Expect When You’re Expecting franchise has the pregnancy topic covered, this blog will focus on everything else. However, my main interests are religion, spirituality, current events and social issues.

The profile photo for this blog, a picture of a sign that says, “Reserved for Brat Vendor,” definitely falls into the category of “What to Expect When…” I took this photo a few years ago at our town’s annual Culturfest, which, as the name suggests, celebrates the cultural diversity of our community.

But this sign, posted at an event that celebrates the increasing diversity of our community, reminded me that in many ways we are still primarily a community of immigrants from northern Europe.

I also have an interest in mediocrity – please read on.

I’m sorry to be the one to share the painful truth with my fellow bloggers but the reality is, the vast majority of what we write is going to be forgotten by the world either in our own lifetimes or shortly thereafter. Yes, I know we all think we are the exception to the rule but I tend to take a more realistic view of things.

What may be even harder to accept is the fact that there are a few of our contemporaries whose works are going to live on long after they are dead. If you’ve ever watched the movie Amadeus, loosely based on the life of Mozart, you know what I’m talking about.

Woven into the movie’s depiction of the life of Mozart is the story of the Italian composer Antonio Salieri. The contrast between the lives and works of Mozart and Salieri is striking. Salieri is “blessed” with a long life during which he sees his compositions fade into obscurity. Mozart dies young and never witnesses the universal popularity that his works achieve.

Rather than give up, Salieri makes the most of it. He names himself “The Father of Mediocrity.” He makes peace with the fact that he’ll never be considered a genius and welcomes all who have come to the same realization to join his cause.

If you are still aspiring to be the next Mozart I wish you all the best. Just a word of caution though, those who do achieve legendary status usually pay a heavy price for it in their personal lives.

If you would prefer to be more realistic I hereby invite you to join my cause: mediocrity. To my knowledge, no one has taken up Salieri’s mantel as “The Father of Mediocrity”so I am volunteering to take his place although if someone else would like to be the leader of our cause I’m fine with that. Also, I prefer the title “The Patron Saint of Mediocrity” to “The Father of Mediocrity.”

A tongue-in-cheek word I have coined for my approach to mediocrity is: Expectational, which is defined as: Expect Sensational. What does mediocrity have to do with sensational? I guess if you read all this about me and still want to read more of my blog then it doesn’t really matter if you think my writing is sensational or mediocre.

A picture of the very ordinary Antonio Salieri

Salieri

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