In a world like ours, everyone wants to be more than just ‘ordinary’. Ordinary is not desired, but is it a vice or a virtue?
In the process of growth, we learn much and more. More often than not, this process transforms us into new individualities and identities. But, it is only true to say that this transformation comes at some cost. The cost is nothing but everything- our emotional indulgence. Through all this, a lot is lost, as a lot is gained. But I think it is important to hold on to your ordinary, as you develop into the extraordinary- being yourself as you become better.
All of us are always engrossed in this confusion. The gulf between the ordinary and the extraordinary is becoming a problem for the students. It is always claimed that the university offers you the best exposure and opportunities; and as a dutiful student, you must rise up to these opportunities. The internships and the extracurricular activities, as we all would agree, require the best efforts and that ‘extraordinaire’. It is this pressure perhaps, that allows self-doubt to induce anxiety greater than free thinking would induce enterprise. We begin to doubt every action and effort, because it is felt that it is more important to be effectively excellent at every thing that is, rather than focusing on a select few and excelling at them efficiently. We forget that running after everything leads us to nothing.
It is not wrong to try your best to learn things. But when the effort burdens you down, and in fact, the failure to achieve something causes a personalized distress- a feeling that makes you question your own worth- you must back out. Every once in a while, it helps to say ‘no’ or quit things that seem to be too frictional. You can be ordinary at most things, and that is not a discouraging thought. Accepting your own ordinary is the key to achieving peace. It is not an advice to give up on your endeavors, but in fact, it only means that you must address the fact that being the best is not necessarily the idea.
The word ‘best’ itself is highly subjective. “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” We can understand this famous quote by Charles Addams in the said context of ‘best’ by replacing ‘normal’ with ‘best’. In a rat-race, best is an imposition. An unhinged extraordinaire is deemed more valuable than a calm ordinaire. It is sadly a reality. The relevance of accepting the ordinary is therefore, ever undermined. Unreasonable expectations and ideas often disappoint us. Truly, we are all capable of wonders, but the idea is lost when we deem some wonders better than the others.
Ordinary is not a curse. Ordinary is not monotonous. Ordinary is a natural state of being. Everyone is ordinary in one way or the other, and more than ordinary at some other things. The acknowledgement of this fact is an encouraging thought. A thought that inspires to revel in the ordinary and await greater things through the retaining of our own true identities, instead of a strained ‘pedant’. In accepting so, you do yourself as much a favor as you do unto others around you.
As the extraordinary standard reaches a new high with every successive year, maybe we can remember to celebrate the ordinary, every once in a while.
Feature Image Credits: Kartik Chauhan for DU Beat.