Learning Ordinary

Order and ordinary come from the same Latin word ordinarius. Both words are related but they have different meanings. To be orderly means to obey the laws of the land and the many rules and habits that we need to follow for our own good, for example road rules. Why then does the word ‘ordinary’ come across as disparaging? If we speak of an ordinary man or woman we think of someone who never does anything much out of the usual. For instance we would not call a convict or a multi-millionaire, ordinary. Why? Because they have taken risks in their lives that most people would not dare to do.

That is just as well, as if everyone did extraordinary things we might well get into a state of anarchy.

Most of us want to have a job they can enjoy and a settled family. Their lives are highlighted by ceremonies such as Christmas and holidays when they can enjoy a break from everyday livesĀ and then come back to everything they are used to.

Learned habits and behaviours are the foundations of our lives. We feel safe when we have created a regular routine. This is the reason that when people retire, after doing the same work for decades, they often find it very hard to adjust to a new way of life and sometimes they go back to work, if they can. Those people who have created work for themselves and changed it from time to time when they want something new to do, as I myself have done, can always find something fresh to fill in their time.

Rarely do such creative people as writers, painters and all kinds of people who have imagination and curiosity never stop.

If we pay attention to the kind of passive entertainment that is particularly popular we can easily see

what is lacking in so many people’s lives. Throughout history the telling of stories , travelling circuses and the theatre have been favourite pastimes. They provide the colour and excitement that are lacking in so many people’s lives.

The nature of these entertainments have changed as the times change. All the things that ordinary people were never able to do either because they dared not nor could not do are on display today in books, cinema, football, TV and the theatre. They get a vicarious thrill by identifying with the heroes, gangsters and oddballs of all kinds that leaves them unharmed but satisfied.

A new manifestation is the obsession with celebrities. That is why young girls, even the intelligent ones, will imitate what they do and what they wear. I don’t know why. But it must be something that they feel is lacking in their lives. What a pity when there are so many better ways for them to spend their spare time. I think some aspects of women’s lib. are responsible.

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