to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.The extraordinary will take care of itself.” William Martin
What earthly wonder presents itself to you on a daily basis? Do you ever ponder that our planet is hurtling through space at an estimated 30,000 mph? Do you ever think about the constancy of the ocean waves or frailty of dragonfly wings? Do you ever marvel at the way birds know how to migrate or how a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly? Do you let yourself feel the awe of these things? Does it produce a sense of wonderment and joy?
What kind of ordinary things bring you joy? Do you know? Can you remember? It is critical for you to take the time to consider these things and ascribe value to them, otherwise you will not treat them with the respect they deserve and you will not make them a priority in your life. Spend a moment and make a mental list of Ordinary things that bring you joy.
My list looks something like this:
- watching the river flow under a bridge
- walking in the woods
- the quiet of the house when all are in bed and I am alone with my thoughts
- a cup of hot tea with a splash of cream and an almond cookie
- live music played with abandon
- hearing someone pour out their heart, trusting me with the contents
- poetry ~ almost any kind
- hearing my children play the guitar and sing
- watching my husband smoke his pipe
- hearing the wind in the trees
My list is endless. My search for Goodness has demanded that I begin to pay more attention to these things because they are what bring Beauty, Trueness, Love, and Life-giving things into my life. To have Goodness you must have these four building blocks. You must take in Beauty, Trueness, Love and Life-giving things everyday to build up your heart so that it will overflow with Goodness to others.
What is it that catches your attention, cause you joy, or inspires you? If you make these Ordinary things your focus you will find that there is much happiness to be had in day-to-day life. You will find that life becomes more energized, less stressful, more hopeful, and more satisfying.
Take the Goodness challenge this week and list the everyday things that bring you joy. Practice these things regularly. How else will you be able to pass on this life-changing gift to your children or grandchildern? How else will they know how to find the wonder in an ordinary day? Be prepared to share the beauty of an ordinary life by finding it for yourself.
Find joy in the ordinary!