As I ponder over the word “ordinary,” I wonder what is really considered ordinary.
If I look up the word on Dictionary.com, it is defined as an adjective “of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional.”
But it does not say who or what determines what is ordinary.
When I go online every morning, I see articles on things that are going on in the world. Political issues, Hollywood marriages, break-ups, babies born with weird names, and the latest locations of shootings or bombs going off.
Unfortunately, these have become pretty “ordinary” issues in today’s society. But should they be? That is the real question.
Why does it not surprise us when we hear about a shooting in a local community high school?
Have we become immune, or are we so engrossed in our own selves that we just don’t care anymore?
In an “it’s all about me” society, I tend to side with the “we don’t care” attitude. If it isn’t helping me, it’s hurting me, and ain’t nobody got time for that, as the famous Ms. Sweet Brown would say.
These once not so ordinary topics used to devastate us. We use to have a sense of obligation to find a way to help others or have movements to try to stop bad things from happening.
I remember as a child going to “sit-ins” and marches to try to make a difference. These things are far and in between now.
The purpose of those missions was to come together to fight for a similar cause for change. A change to make things better and improve a community as a whole. Whether you fully understood the dynamics of what you were doing or not, you did it because a change somehow needed to happen.
Those missions truly stood for something, change did occur, and things did get better until we become a society of entitlement.
Me, Me, Me. What can you do for me? Values, morals, and respect seem to have gone out the window with the dirty bath water.
These behaviors of “me first” and “what do I get,” seem to have become “ordinary” reactions to life today.
In a world with everything available to you at your fingertips, and getting access to information with just a swipe of your finger, have we really allowed for this to become the new ordinary?
I don’t know, but I remember being held to certain standards and working hard for what I got. It’s too easy today to just walk away and say “forget about it,” and move on to the next thing. It’s like no one wants to work at it. If it’s too hard, step away from it. If I can’t get what I want, I’ll find something else that I really want instead. I think we just give up too easily on things that are too important, and fight and argue for things that aren’t.
For example, let’s look at the case here in Florida where a man shot and murdered a kid for just walking to his Father’s house from the store. I’m sure you all heard of it. It was the Zimmerman and Martin case. How easy would it have been for Zimmerman to just let Martin go home and call the police from his cell phone and let them handle it? A situation that should never have happened and a case that lost for what? Because Zimmerman didn’t care about the value of life. He was only thinking about himself, trying to be a so-called Hero. Something that he will never be.
In looking at the beginning of this article, and understanding the meaning of “ordinary,” maybe Zimmerman was trying to be “extraordinary,” but he did it in the wrong way.
What if he had followed Martin home and asked if he had seen anything, or offered to walk him home for safety? What if he had just been a sign of peace instead of a sign of hatred and angry? Both lives would be different today.
It does seem, however, that violence has become an “ordinary” event in today’s society along with the anger, hatred, and frustration.
But how do we change today’s “ordinary” thinking?
There is an old movie called Pay it Forward. A story about a little boy who wants to make a difference and decides that he is going to start by doing one kind thing for someone and ask them to do something kind for someone else and so on, and so on, and so on. The story ends tragically, and if you haven’t seen it, you must, but that one simple thing changed the lives of so many, and the little boy never got the chance to see what he did to make a difference. What he did to encourage and inspire others to do good.
What if we all did the same? It’s something so simple. Something all of us can do. Whether it’s just opening the door for someone, helping someone put groceries into their car, calling an old friend of saying I love you, little things can definitely make a big difference.
Why can’t that become the “new ordinary?” It can. It really can.
So I challenge you. I challenge you to pay it forward and make that become the new “ordinary.”