I keep seeing all these articles: How not to live an ordinary life, How to make a real impact on the world, How leave a lasting impact.
They just irritate me. What the hell is wrong with an ordinary life? I don’t see any problem with simply living a good life. Working hard, raising a family, educating your children well, and being content. There is so much you can do in an ordinary life. There is nothing extraordinary about buying a sandwich in the store and handing it to the homeless man begging. It’s simple and easy and fits in your ordinary life. It teaches your child something and it makes a difference to the hungry man. It’s ordinary. Or it should be.
When I worked tech the topic would always come up at eval time. Shooting stars. Who were the shooting stars, the employees who should get raises and promotions. Myself and another manager would always argue that the shooting stars were great but someone had to keep the fucking lights on and maybe, just maybe, we should consider rewarding the guy who made it possible for the shooting star to be extraordinary. Because if the ordinary guy, who came in every day and did all the work assigned to him without attitude, never once said “That’s beneath me,” left, who the heck was gonna do all the work the extraordinary people refused to do because it was too ordinary.
Maybe we could all just be a little more ordinary. Do the work in front of us. Solve the problems presented to us on a daily basis. Not everyone can bring world peace. Not everyone can solve world hunger. Those who can, already know they are extraordinary. Let them do it. Let them have the big shooting star problems.
I embrace my ordinariness. I teach my child well, because he might just be extraordinary. I donate my time to worthwhile local charities. I donate my son’s time to worthwhile local charities. I put less presents under the tree for my kid, but let him pick out things to donate for people in need. I buy sandwiches and fruit for the hungry guy. I pick up garbage on the street. I clean up my dog’s poop when I walk him. I sit on boards and do what needs to be done.
I make the small sphere I live in, a little better each day. I don’t need to be extraordinary. I just make small, little steps part of my ordinary every day life. Someday, some shooting star will solve all the big problems. In the mean time, I’ll keep the lights on, thanks.