Do You Want to be Special or Ordinary or …

Given our culture’s emphasis on celebrities, it’s natural that so many persons want to be “special” in one way or another. Being famous or being recognized by others as being special designates a person as seemingly having value.

While most of us are not so grandiose as to want to be a celebrity, I think it’s fair to say that many persons feel driven to do “something significant” with their lives like serving like Mother Teresa, starting a non-profit, writing a book, etc.

But as we get older, too often we find our lives instead ensnared by the commonplace of working for a living, raising a family, and paying bills. We haven’t the time or energy needed to do something more with our lives than get by one day to the next.

At this juncture, the unsatisfied drive to do something significant with our lives can become a relentless stinging self-criticism which may cause some persons to be depressed, for they feel their lives are worthless. However, others may instead relinquish the need to do something significant, and find solace instead in the virtue of being “ordinary”.

Whereas once being special was the ideal, now being ordinary is. To live a simple human life of getting by, raising a family, living honorably in our relation with others, loving and being loved, – these are some pillars of value of the ordinary life.

My problem with being either ordinary or special is that neither ambition expresses authenticity. Each presumes that value is to be found outside of ourselves by comparing ourselves to others. I am special, because I am different from others. I am ordinary, because I am like others.

We look outside ourselves for value, because we have lost our own inner connection to Being/Existence which is itself innate value. This intrinsic value of each person’s existence can be neither added to or subtracted from by any external consideration. However hard we strive, value cannot be found outside ourselves, because it is sourced within ourselves.

As we relax more and more into intimacy with our inner nature, we relieve ourselves of the unnecessary burden of trying to assess our value by turning outwards and comparing ourselves. Being special, significant, or ordinary becomes insignificant when compared to simply being – ourselves.

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