|William Martin was a ordinary man with an extraordinary message. |
Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
Why does life get so complicated?
Is it possible to have a simple, ordinary life?
Is that what we should strive for?
My high school days came and went before the internet, email, Facebook (thank goodness!), tweeting and texting. I grew up on a ranch which encompassed feeding and taking care of a variety of animals, cleaning out barns and watering devices, picking up sticks and rocks. Yes, I spent many hours picking up sticks and rocks after my dad bush hogged the land. Getting bored yet? Yep, I felt bored sometimes too, pretty ordinary. Although, I still have flashbacks about baby deer kicking me when I was trying to bottle feed them, fishing with my dad on our lake, raising my own emu chicks, and wild boar and buffalo charging our ranch truck anytime we got near, scaring the $%#! out of me.
Nothing too extraordinary, or so I thought.
Fast forward to today where technology takes us everywhere but ordinary. It exposes us to infinite opportunities: positive and negative images, progressive networking, making connections with those we know and do not know, and endless possibilities for maintaining a busy life. This is both a blessing and curse, because at any one moment we can see what we are, what we are not, and what we think we want to be. We see these images, which become pressures and it becomes increasingly difficult not to compare. We want the best for ourselves, our families and friends. We want to push ourselves and our kids to be successful... extraordinary.
A few weeks ago I was visiting with some girlfriends and we started talking about the "simple days".When we were kids, and even in high school, there was this sense of ordinary life, a slower paced feeling. Now that I think about it, I wish I had a day to feed a newborn deer or have sometime to go pick up sticks and enjoy nature. Now it's rush, rush, rush! Constantly trying to beat the clock to fit in everything we need to do. It's just what we do, the "new ordinary", as I like to call it.
For many, the ordinary life seems to be shifting: a more busy, fast paced life. The extraordinary times seem to be those times when we can relax and enjoy the simpleness of the moment. Savor those special moments with those we love. I mean, if everything is extraordinary all the time--doesn't that just make it ordinary?
Everybody is different though; some may view extraordinary times as jet-setting somewhere exotic, grooving to your beloved band in a live concert, attending a sports event cheering on your favorite team, or experiencing something new and exciting wherever that may be. Acknowledging what feels extraordinary is important, and finding the time to actually experience is key.
Think about yourself. You are completely unique, there are things about you, things you have done, things that make you...well, you. That's extraordinary. Don't believe me? Make a list of the talents you have, times when you made someone's day, obstacles you have overcome....no matter how big, how small, how "ordinary".
Here's to keeping it simple, slowing down and leading a somewhat ordinary life. Cherishing the extraordinary times as they come.
Maybe Skynyrd coined the acronym: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)