This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”
Because my brain was all explodey and fatigued after four days of staff meetings, and due to my apparent complete inability to plan ahead, I didn’t post yesterday. For the purposes of sanity, I’m combining my “O” and “P” posts. Since quite a few of my earlier posts were twice as long as they should have been, it all evens out. Or so I tell myself.
There’s another reason for the combined post. I was talking to a friend yesterday, one of those “state of the world” conversations about the hopes we’d both had that our daughters wouldn’t have to re-fight the same battles we’d fought, about the shockingly vile and vicious comments people feel entitled to post in online forums, and about how casually indifferent so many people seem to have become to the suffering, both great and small, of others.
My friend observed that, instead of embracing the cult of celebrity and allowing ourselves to get caught up in macabre fascination with the awfulness blatted at us from the news every day, we’d be happier if we spent more time focusing on the lives and struggles of ordinary people.
“We don’t need superheroes,” she said. “We need to celebrate our everyday heroes.” She wasn’t talking about the people who step in front of moving cars to rescue small children. She was talking about the people whose everyday acts of bravery, compassion, and kindness who make this world a better place.
She was talking about:
- The woman in the supermarket who insists on making up the difference when the person in front of her doesn’t have enough money to cover her groceries.
- The guy who runs across a busy street to help when he sees someone fall down. (Thank you, ordinary guy–I owe you one.)
- The frail old man with the walker who makes the effort to bend and retrieve the bag up dropped by the even frailer old woman in front of him.
- The woman who doesn’t walk past the homeless guy, pretending not to see him, but squats down to say “hey, how’s it going?” and connect with him, human being to human being.
- The kid who shovels the snow off his elderly neighbour’s stairs and sidewalk without being asked (or told).
- The woman out walking her dog at night who recognizes the expression of fear when she sees a young woman running down the street and stops to help. (Thank you, ordinary woman for walking my daughter home.)
- The man who speaks up when he overhears someone on the bus saying something racist or homophobic or sexist to another passenger (and the bus driver who backs him up).
- The single mother who works at a crap job and goes hungry to make sure her kids get enough to eat.
- The family who leave everything behind–relatives, friends, most of their possessions–and manage to rebuild their lives from scratch in a country that frequently treats them like parasites or criminals.
- The woman who jumps out of her car in rush hour traffic to save a lost dog from getting pancaked.
- The people who dig deep to support their uninsured neighbour whose apartment just went up in flames.
Ordinary people, making the extraordinary most of their time on this planet–definitely something to celebrate.
We can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love – U2