Ordinary, Common, Everyday Lives

But what could be better?

I see ‘celebrity’ magazines with pix of people no one really knows, telling of the exciting lives they seem to live, and wonder why I have no envy for them.

You see, I have an ordinary life, ordinary house, ordinary neighborhood, and yet am so content and have such love for my life and the people surrounding me, that I wonder if something’s wrong with me.  

And so, Ethel being Ethel, I began thinking about my life and wonder what ordinary means, and the dictionary tells me its something so ‘common’, so ‘everyday’, that we take it for granted and give it no attention. 

Getting down to basics, my day begins with one ordinary event that would panic the world if it didn’t happen.  Yeah, the sun   rises and brings light and glorious colors, and in 12 hours, it goes down in another blaze of color, and the world is dark. So ordinary I seldom even look at its beauty, and yet if this happened just once every century, the entire world would awaken to watch. 

The seasons change on a 365 day schedule bringing the differences of rain, snow, warm or cold, and if those very ordinary things change, our planting, harvesting, and entire life style changes, and if severe enough, lots of people go hungry. Or die.

And before we smile in disbelief, look back to the 1930’s when the lack of rain to the mid-land of America was so severe the earth became so dry it was blown into the air and the area was labeled a Dust Bowl. The sun was obliterated, and it became so dark, night or day, that people seriously wondered if the End had come.

Going farther, children are daily (hourly?) conceived, and then are born, age and ultimately, we die.  Such commonplace events, but if death didn’t come, we’d have a world overpopulated and fighting for food, space, and air. Or, if conception stopped, within fifty or so years, the world would become uninhabited because no one was filling the empty places. 

Such ordinary happenings, and the more I searched, the more I found that it’s the ordinary, the loved, the taken-for-granted events, that makes my world worth living.

And what started all this?  Well, on a recent CNN program, a veteran journalist who had talked with the powerful people of the world. 

And when asked if there was one interview that stood out above all others, I expected him to tell of some President, General, Inventor or such, but after a pause and with an odd smile, the retired journalist shifted his body, cocked his head, nodded, and said, “Yes, I do. There was a man whose name is still well  known, and his answer remains with me as perhaps the most important words I’ve  heard.”

And he looked up and said, “It was Clark Gable, the movie star.” He nodded as he saw the interviewer’s surprise, but continued, “See, I had asked him pretty much the same question you are asking me, as to who he had met or what event was the most powerful to him.

 “And his answer struck me to the heart and I’ve wondered if his words, taken seriously by all of us, just might be the secret to solving  many of the world’s problems. Problems that outwardly change, but are ever the same. ”

Clark said, “When I finish my day’s work, and drive home, I know that on the other side of my own Front Door, there’s someone, though also busy with her day, waits for the sound of my key in our door and who eagerly and lovingly greets me as I step in.

“Sorry”, Gable almost apologized, “I’m sure that’s not the answer you expected, but, you see, I’m a very ordinary man. And knowing she is there, awaiting me, puts all else in its place as good, but not vital to my deep contentment.”

The journalist being interviewed, continued, “I’ve listened to many powerful and sincere people telling what should/shouldn’t be done to bring Peace to all, but Gable’s words stay with me,  and I’ve come to see that he had matured beyond ‘ideas’ and into the wiser man, and found the basic need to bring peace to us all. 

“He knew that no matter where he was in this world, people would hurry to ask what they could get him, but he had matured into a man who had learned that ‘all the rest’ dropped into its proper place, interesting and worthwhile, but of little real worth, because ‘on the other side of his own door’,  there was one who awaited the sound of his key in the door, and, together, their love made their entire  lives worth living.”

And I recall how about 2,000 years ago, The Great Teacher, also taught that Love is the answer to all.  And today?  The same words from a movie star? What a wonderful paradox.

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