“Never get so fascinated with the extraordinary that you miss the ordinary.” (Magdalen Nabb) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
How true that saying is. We have become a nation that tends to focus on events, either real or made up for television(and in a true perversion of the word called “realty” shows) and in the process we have become somewhat blasé about the ordinary things going on around us. In some big cities, such as New York or LA or Boston, residents have gone further and seemingly can ignore all but the most extraordinary things around them. Yet there is much to be observed and learned from the ordinary. I found the quote below that seems to sum up my thoughts quite nicely, especially as it concerns children.
“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” ― William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
Instead of looking for extraordinary things to do with your children every weekend, perhaps just sharing the ordinary with them is the best things to do. Go fishing or go watch a ball game. Sit and talk with them under a tree or take a walk through a local park and share the experience of nature with them. There is more value in time spent together in pursuit of the ordinary than in all of the thrill rides and concerts around.
If it’s just you and your significant other share some time sitting on the porch (maybe in an old fashion swing) or just take a drive together with no particular destination in mind. It is during the time shared in these “ordinary” pursuits that real conversation can occur, not while you are at some special event. It is in those ordinary moments that hands reach out and the simple act of holding hands rekindles the original reasons that you are together.
I think that we don’t spend enough time considering all that is going on around us in our ordinary lives. If we did really look at the lessons to be learned or the opportunities to serve that are all around us, I suspect that we would agree with this quote from Mitch Albom –
“You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.” ― Mitch Albom, For One More Day
So, look around you at all of the ordinary things going on with an eye to seeing the meaning and importance of those things. You may be surprised that you see things that you’ve never seen before that have always been right in front of you. There is beauty to behold. There are needs to fulfill. There are opportunities to be explored. There are truly important things happening in your ordinary little life; don’t miss them. And don’t worry; the extraordinary will take care of itself without you.