Headlines howl, “The Best”, “The Worst.” “Number One”. “First Prize”. We love the most horrible, the most beautiful, the most intelligent.
It doesn’t seem to matter if it is something good or bad. We are drawn to the extraordinary. It may be the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. It may be the football star who threw 5 touchdown passes. It may be the marriage that ended in a murder-suicide just hours after it began. It may be the one who made the most billions of dollars.
Because we are drawn to the extraordinary, we tend to diminish the value of the ordinary. We look around us in cultural value machine of media and data communication and the people who are doing things that “fantastic” or “amazing” get the most “likes” on their Facebook page.
I want to present an ode to the ordinary. I want to lift up the 99% who make up the population of the globe who never make the top ten list. I want to celebrate the millions who get up each day in their modest huts or houses, their tiny or noisy apartment and head off to their daily tasks and work their ordinary jobs. I want to honor all the ordinary relationships where people love and struggle to figure out what that means, where t hey get bored and share quiet conversation with each other.
One of the reasons I think so many people may be depressed is because of the expectation that we can all be extraordinary and so we feel like a failure when we are just average people living life under the radar, doing what little good we can with the limited gifts we have. Many people feel like they have done something wrong if they have not accomplished amazing things or made a lot of money.
Don’t forget, if it weren’t for all the ordinary ones of us, there would not be such a thing as extraordinary.