Thinking Thursday: Can You Be Ordinary?


Questions to Ponder:

What’s ordinary mean to you?

Can someone be successful and ordinary?

Are children learning “ordinary” is a bad word?

Dig  Deeper…if you want:

Take a moment to read/scan this New York Times article, Redefining Success and Celebrating the Ordinary. It will make you think about the meaning of “ordinary.”





20 comments on “Thinking Thursday: Can You Be Ordinary?

  1. Lynn says:

    My immediate thought was that it probably depends upon what ordinary means to ourselves. And then I read the article and I think that is the gist of it. I love this: ““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.”” Just like me.

    • Sara says:

      @ Lynn — I loved that quote:~) I think its mainly considering not needing to be extraordinary. My take on the article was there a bit of a push today to be something other than ordinary. But I agree with you about it depends on our definition of ordinary.

      As always, thanks for the visit:~)

  2. Fireblossom says:

    I love to sing, but could only very charitably be said to even rise to ordinariness at it. Still, I sing, even if only to myself. However, I am me, and so of course I have added my own twist: I discovered quite by accident, and much to my own amusement, and much to Bosco’s perplexity, that singing pop love songs in a stuffy English accent or in pidgin oriental, make them funny as hell. My favorite is “My Baby Does The Hankie Pankie” sung in stuffy Brit English. I tell ya, I quack myself up. Petula Clark’s “Downtown” is pretty cool in pidgin, too.

    Speaking of, your completion of my unfinished poem was THE BEST. I loved it!

    • Sara says:

      @ Fireblossom — LOL. You are hysterically funny. I laughed all through this comment. Thank you…Too bad we don’t audio on our blogs or I’d dare you sing “My Baby Does the Hankie Pankie” in a stuffy Brit English:~)

  3. Jean Sampson says:

    I love to play with words and write poetry—-I expect that my beady little brain would STILL play with words even if I were “ordinary” at it. And I MAY BE ordinary at it, but I am not going to ruin everything by judging myself either way. 🙂 And I expect that I would still paint, no matter what, if I had a place (as I do now) and the money—-expensive hobby if you don’t sell stuff! I just keep on keeping on and ordinary smordarnary! 🙂

    • Sara says:

      @ Jean — Now, this is a great answer. I love your words, “I am not going to ruin everything by judging myself either way.” Perfectly said.

  4. jc says:

    I play golf and I may be ordinary according to some standards But as I improve I think I’m pretty good. The challenge is who gets to determine ordinary. I agree that society puts way too much pressure on people to be the best. If kids don’t get A’s or on the varsity team they are ordinary. According to much of society’s standards my kid is ordinary but I think he is perfect! Ordinary people rise up!

  5. janice says:

    Oooh, a juicy topic….I’ll go and read the article after I submit this – don’t want to get sidetracked!

    One of the most important things I do in my life coaching is to get clients to define what success means to them. It’s such a powerful tool, and I’m constantly having to recalibrate my own definition of what success means to me. In some ways, I know exactly what I mean by ‘ordinary’, for example, my writing often spills over from the extraordinary delight I get from ordinary things, daily details, but it gets harder when applied to people and what we do.

    First thing your prompt brought to mind was how I know I’m an ordinary blogger – the tech stuff, photo and video uploading etc, I just about manage, with no particular flair – but I love when I finally achieve something I’ve struggled with, something that other bloggers probably find simple and take for granted. (For example, I STILL haven’t figured out how to view a draft I’m working on and get back to the same version of it after I’ve viewed it, but still I plod on, even though everything takes me hours!)

    These days, with so many folk writing, blogging and self publishing about their life journeys, I’ve also come to accept that I’m pretty ordinary in why I write, and that the dreams of being a writer that I’ve had since I was five are shared by so many millions of folk that they could be seen as ordinary to the point of being clichéd. But I’ll never stop; I couldn’t, no matter how ordinary anyone might find my life or my writing.

    Same with my crochet: I’m a beginner and can just about manage the basics, but I get such delight from the colours, the textures, the physical, mind calming repetitiveness, the ritual and the finished pieces, that I can’t see me ever losing my childlike joy in it.

    You have such a talent for opening people up, you wiley creature! 😉

    • Sara says:

      @ Janice — Oh, this was a fun read and I liked what you said, especially the part about blogging:~) I’m still always learning. But I agree it’s the constant “learning” that keeps us going and I believe keeps us from being ordinary because we keep trying and working at the things we love to do.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this topic:~)

  6. Pea says:

    Great question. I don’t like ordinary. I don’t like mediocre. So it would probably impact the way I feel about taking on a task yes.
    The dichotomy of course is that I don’t particularly feel I’m special anyway, so I’m quite deluded. 🙂

    • Sara says:

      @ Pea — Oh, I am so sorry I missed this comment and now I’m late in responding. Well, while I can’t change how you feel, to me you are special even if you, like the rest of us, are ordinary at times.

      It’s funny I put this question up without really having my own response to it. The article I read had such a strong impact on me, I wanted to see how others felt. Now, that I’ve thought about it. Even if my writing, which I love, was described as “ordinary,” I wouldn’t be able to stop it. There are some life pursuits you do because your soul needs you to do them. That’s what writing feels like for me:~)

      • pea says:

        My dear…your writing could never be even slightly perceived as ordinary, so let’s get straight about that one! But I 100% understand the bit about he soul as well.

        • Sara says:

          @ pea — I always love it when you visit. I have missed your posts…I know, I know I say this every time, but it’s true. You have so much wisdom:~)

          Thanks for the visit!!!

  7. desk49 says:

    One should ask
    What keeps one in line
    What one needs
    To turn out fine

    Is it a pot of money
    Titles to hang
    A really nice place
    What kind, of thing

    If ordinary’s the norm
    Than happy I’d be
    I’d not be pretending
    I’d just be me

    Great questions you ask
    Who should be on top
    If no one’s below us
    We’d all fall with a plop

    So should I still do it
    If I loved who I am
    You can bet you sweet roses
    For I am the man

  8. Hilary says:

    Hi Sara – to me no-one is ordinary .. we can all shine in some small way … a smile, a positive thought, an opening of the mind to new ideas …

    Ordinary we are not … we are all one of a kind with amazing opportunities … cheers Hilary

    • Sara says:

      @ Hilary — This is a wonderfully typical Hilary comment. Always positive…it’s one you are such a special person:~)

  9. Gerri says:

    Hmmmm, such an interesting question and provocation…I’ll have to think on this more.

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