Living in an Ordinary World

“Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.”
― Lao Tzu

Life is full of ordanary things. For many, this can seem like a mundane fact and they seek out excitement and novelty. They can get trapped into thinking that happiness comes from something different than what their lives are, and in an effort to correct what they think is missing they miss what is right in front of them. The problem with this seeking is that the novel becomes less novel, and the extraordinary can become ordinary. What then? More seeking. Seeking becomes all encompassing, satisfaction continues to be just out of reach and dissatisfaction and loneliness within your life sets in. Contentment, on the other hand, comes from the engagement with your life here and now. And oddly enough as “ordinary” as it is, life is extraordinary. For instance, when you sit and think about it, how wonderfully extraordinary is it to be able to push a button on the newest smart phone and talk with a loved one across the country? Twenty years ago that was science fiction, and people of that era would most certainly marvel at the seemingly impossible feat of communication we now consider a common necessity. People have become so used to the ordinary nature of a digital phone call that they become dissatisfied when the call drops due to a service glitch. Of course, there is nothing wrong with advancement in life and technology, and certainly working towards bettering the world is a noble endeavor. The problem only occurs when we seek for something that doesn’t exist at the expense of being fully present in our current situation. The world is yours to have. You own it for your lifetime, so relax and take a good long breath of fresh air, drink a cold glass of water in the summer heat, and notice something (extra)ordinary.

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