In Search of the Mundane – Ordinary vs. Extraordinary – The Unremarkable
Redefining Success and Celebrating the Ordinary – Alina Tugend [See this as another example. Also see this dealing with this theme.]
As Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work and author of the book “The Gifts of Imperfection” (Hazelden, 2010) said, “In this world, an ordinary life has become synonymous with a meaningless life.”
And that’s a problem. Because “extraordinary is often what the general public views as success,” said Jeff Snipes, co-founder of PDI Ninth House, a corporate leadership consulting firm. “You make a lot of money or have athletic success. That’s a very, very narrow definition. What about being compassionate or living a life of integrity?”
The problem is that we have such a limited view of what we consider an accomplished life that we devalue many qualities that are critically important.
She didn’t have a great job, she wasn’t married and never had children, so she wasn’t successful in either the traditional male or female sense, Ms. Porter said. But people would keep telling stories about her kindness.
“She had a lot of magic in her life, and that’s reassuring,” Ms. Porter said. “That you can live a full, interesting, ordinary life.”
“Ordinary has a bad rap, and so does settling — there is the idea is that we should always want more,” she said. “But there’s a beauty in cultivating an appreciation for what we already have.”
“For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”