Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Who aspires to ordinary?


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I’ve wanted to be a lot of things in my life, but ordinary, never – I take comfort in never having had anyone accuse me of being ordinary. The challenge with people who espouse about “ordinary” is that I think they see themselves as ordinary absent any clear definition of ordinary, except perhaps the juxtaposing to extra-ordinary. There are some who voice support for ordinary people; they want to build policy for “ordinary” people so government serves the ordinary, ordinarily. The challenge I have is that in all my time on earth I have never met an ordinary person, in the very middle of the societal bell curve, I have never encountered “ordinary” people – there I have found the extra-ordinary amongst the “ordinary”.
I spent most of my life at the altar of exceptionalism, reading Winston Churchill speeches and the like, it was my first and only wife, that taught me about the extra-ordinary amongst the ordinary. When I was reading about Mr. Churchill, she would be talking about a neighbor. She had the capacity to admire the people who filled her everyday life, to see and appreciate a quality that a person possessed – save perhaps the person who left their socks on the floor one too many times. This is a lesson I got from one that considered herself from the ranks of the ordinary, it was a good one.

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The point here is that the only time there can be ordinary people is when you’re looking at a “herd” of people, the moment you take person out of the “herd” they become exceptional. Therein lays the evil in collectivism. Whenever you aggregate human existence, an ill-defined blob is born where an individual use to be, where there was once a thousand flowers to bloom, there is now no flower to be noticed. The tall poppy syndrome comes to play, it is necessary only because collectivism wants people to be the same, treated the same, having the same – no exceptional individuals. My wife’s lesson was that all people are exceptional; my observation is they get lost in a crowd. 

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