Written by: Jorinde Berben
Image credit: pexels.com
In a group on facebook I saw something pass that struck me. It was a quote by Elon Musk saying “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”
In the group, there was a lot of general agreement. But the quote didn’t strike me because it felt true or profound. Rather I felt it was kind of missing the point.
I go through life mainly looking at people. Much of my childhood was spent gauging people’s feelings and interests, looking to see how to please others and how to fit in. This has come with its challenges in adulthood, but it has also given me a wonderful gift: It has allowed me the practice of seeing beyond the ‘ordinary’.
The thing is, there is no such thing as an ‘ordinary human being’. Some might argue that ‘ordinary’ means what ‘most people are like‘, but even then the argument doesn’t really hold up since we live in a world with at this moment 7.8 billion distinct individuals.
As human beings, we do all share certain things. We all sleep, and eat, and love, and, yes, poop. We all have dreams and hopes, and we all know pain in our lives. Nobody gets out of this adventure without cuts and bruises. The same goes for Elon Musk.
Now, I’ve never met Mr. Musk, but I have met my share of extraordinary people.
I once met a Chinese girl who supported her family by taking tourists on walks through the rice fields. I once met a woman who raised 3 children alone in a foreign country after her husband passed away suddenly. I once met a man who suffered from severe depression and yet he kept trying to climb out of the darkness. Each of these people is performing extraordinary feats.
We are all born with talents that can’t be measured. We all have hearts that only grow in size the more we love. We are all images of incomporable beauty.
How would you decide how to measure the level of ordinariness in that?
Observing and listening to others has shown me one magnificent truth: When it comes to human beings, there is no such thing as ordinary, or extraordinary by comparison. I can look at you, and see your hopes and fears, your love and anger, your disappointment and your joy. And all of that, in all its nuances and personal touches, makes up the unique beauty of who you are.
You are, for lack of a better word, absolutely extraordinary.