Monday, August 8, 2011

oh the humanity of being ordinary

Most Ordinary by Susan Piver (Trust 30 Prompt 16)

Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • We are our most potent at our most ordinary. And yet most of us discount our “ordinary” because it is, well, ordinary. Or so we believe. But my ordinary is not yours. Three things block us from putting down our clever and picking up our ordinary: false comparisons with others (I’m not as good a writer as _____), false expectations of ourselves (I should be on the NYTimes best seller list or not write at all), and false investments in a story (it’s all been written before, I shouldn’t bother). What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? List them. Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world. Put down your clever, and pick up your ordinary.
Today's theme - over and over, here and elsewhere - was discussions of being ordinary, being extraordinary, the difference, what each really means. The truth is, to be human is to be both a miracle and completely common. There's a reason this song is so poignant (and yes, those are my beautiful BBs). 

Yes, I have conversations about myself that keep me from really doing what I know to do - the 'right' that is 'after my constitution.' Conversations about not really having talent. About being too lazy. About having no unique voice and nothing new to say. Yes. I have those conversation. Just like everyone else. 

One of the other conversations I have is that nobody else has the same challenges ... or as many challenges ... or challenges as serious. That's also a completely common conversation, and it stops me from being as compassionate and present for other people as I'd like to be. In many ways that matters a lot more to me than the conversations that stop me from writing. 

Mrs. Lady and I were talking the other day, and I said something about not really having a purpose for this blog, and she said "BS (actually she swore - she's sassy like that) you do it to make a difference." And of course she was right - she often is. When I remember that I write for other people, I move beyond all the conversations about worth, and ability and fairness. That's the sweet spot that sometimes seems so elusive. If I can remember that, I can access that sweet spot more and more. 

There are worse things than being ordinary. In fact, it is in our ordinariness that our humanity lies - when we remember that everyone else is as ordinary a miracle as we are -as I am - we can make the difference we're here to make. 


  1. I TOTALLY enjoyed that video!:D bobbi♪
    and your writing...

  2. I hope you get to meet my boys someday - they are amazing men, not unlike your own sweet son.


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