by Bryan Neva & Allen Laudenslager
My wife and I were returning from a two week cruise in the Mediterranean where we visited Barcelona, Nice, Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Napels, Sorento, Venice, and several other ports-of-call. The trip was fast-paced and we had little time to catch our breath, so we were actually looking forward to returning home for a vacation-from-our-vacation and back to our ordinary lives. The trip reminded me of my time in the Navy during the Cold War: I spent well over a year in Northern and Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East; I saw a lot of extraordinary places and did a lot of extraordinary things (working my butt off) but all I could ever think about was getting back home to my ordinary life.
We live in a world that embraces the extraordinary in all walks of life. People strive for fame and fortune, but why is being ordinary so looked down upon? We praise the intelligent, athletic, talented, beautiful, and successful, but when do we ever praise the ordinary? Joe/Jane the plumber, electrician, carpenter, artisan, service provider, public safety provider, healthcare provider, teacher, professional, etcetera deserve our accolades too. What they all do is quite ordinary but also quite necessary and important.
Beating yourself up because you were never the star pupil, never got that promotion, or never rose beyond the ordinary is just senseless. For every extraordinary person, there's probably at least a thousand ordinary people. You're in good company. It’s those ordinary people who make the world go around. The extraordinary may get the attention and the accolades, but it’s the ordinary that get things done.