Sunday, January 10, 2016

On Being Ordinary

A friend shared a link to an article on her Facebook page regarding the younger generation and how they have been brought up to think that they are "special." It was an interesting perspective and although I don't (generally) like generalizations, there was a lot of truth in the article.

Let's face it, most of us are ordinary. Special is nice, but when I was growing up, there were very few special kids. You either had to be sent to the Principal's office on a regular basis or  be the Teacher's Pet year after year to claim that title. There were the random kids whose brief claim to fame may have been doing something that the rest of us were in awe of (vacation, unusual pet, BIG Christmas present, etc.) They were special for that reason. But the rest of us, oh well, we rode the school bus, we fought with our siblings, we ate cereal and watched Saturday morning cartoons...in other words, our childhoods were pretty similar and ordinary.

We grew up to have ordinary lives; get jobs or go to college, pay bills, fix the car, have children. Along the way we faced our disappointments and frustrations. Perhaps life wasn't always that easy. Some of my friends went through divorces; some of us lost our spouses and buried parents and other family members. The things that we all go through. It doesn't make us special; it makes us ordinary, like the mortal human beings that we are.

I think the problem with thinking that we are special is that it breeds discontentment. To maintain our "special" title we may compare ourselves to others and see success through rose-colored glasses. We will never be skinny enough, or rich enough, or our house will never be big enough, our careers never fulfilling enough because we think that ordinary is so, well, ordinary and we don't want to be ordinary.

I know that I am "special" to a few people, my grandchildren, but I realize that as they grow older, my "specialness" may wear off like a fake tattoo, as they grow up and pursue their own lives. But, hopefully, I will maintain my "specialness" to them as much as they are special to me.

I believe that we are all special in God's eyes, but he has many, many children, so waving my hands or jumping up or down is not going to make a big difference. He knows I'm there. He knows you are there. And that's enough.

So make the best out of your ordinary life. I am.

2 comments:

GretchenJoanna said...

You seem to be making the best of your life by giving of yourself to your grandchildren and others. It might happen that one of them, or a great-grandchild, will surprise you and cherish your uniqueness more, not less, as they grow older. I told my husband once that each one of us is special when we are special TO someone. If that doesn't happen to you, if your ordinariness seems to increase in a sort of fading process, may the Lord show you how precious you are to Him.

I just saw this video today that made me break down in sobs at the end because of the tender care of God, in response to the simple prayer of man. It starts out kind of annoyingly with a man who talks too fast, but the story was compelling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPpumAzqcm0

God bless you, Anita! Thank you for living your wonderful ordinary life.

Anita said...

Thank you, GretchenJoanna! I watched the video and also was overwhelmed with the message of this simple man. I agree that we are all special to someone. And that even in our ordinary lives we can be content.

Pictures

Growing up in my era we didn't take a lot of pictures. Of course, there were the school pictures, which I dreaded, and Mom rarely bought...