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Ordinariness

  • In the turbulence of this anxious and active world many people are leading uneventful, lonely lives. To them dreariness, not disaster, is the enemy. They seldom realize that on their steadfastness, on their ability to withstand the fatigue of dull repetitive work, and on their courage in meeting constant small adversities depend in great measure the happiness and prosperity of the community as a whole. ... The upward course of a nation's history is due in the long run to the soundness of heart of its average men and women.

  • She always says she dislikes the abnormal, it is so obvious. She says the normal is so much more simply complicated and interesting.

  • The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.

  • Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want more than all the world your return.

  • There is nothing to compare with the courage of ordinary people whose names are unknown and whose sacrifices pass unnoticed. The courage that dares without recognition, without the protection of media attention, is a courage that humbles and inspires and reaffirms our faith in humanity.

  • It is the love of ordinary people, in Burma, in Japan or anywhere else in the world, for justice and peace and freedom that is our surest defense against the forces of unreason and extremism ...

  • If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.

  • Ordinary is a word that has no meaning.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • "The Pedestrian Woman," Lady of the Beasts ()
  • Expectations are usually predicated on the idea that the everyday things that happen to ordinary people shouldn't happen to you. People hold the idea of being ordinary in absolute contempt, so when they face an illness, poverty, or any kind of catastrophe, they say, 'I can't believe this happened to me.' And who did you think it was going to happen to — the woman across the street?

  • Never get so fascinated by the extraordinary that you miss the ordinary.

  • The things of every day are all so sweet — / ... / Oh, life — the whole of life — is far too fleet. / The things of every day are all so sweet. / The common things of life are all so dear — / ... Is Heaven not after all the Now and Here? / The common things of life are all so dear.

    • Alice E. Allen,
    • "Life's Common Things," in The Homiletic Review ()
  • in our ordinaryness we are most bizarre.

  • How I love the blazing dailiness / of this world, the way my shoes / wear down their heels in the same spot / each year; the gene-print of freckles / on my children’s cheeks, the plain truth / that dust-balls breed, regardless; / the unmade beds and other signs / of absent domesticity, the late-night hum / of the furnace pumping out its heat, / even the knots in my shoulders / I’ve known since childhood.

    • Ethna McKiernan,
    • "Homage to the Common," The One Who Swears You Can't Start Over ()
  • And yet, wouldn't it be welcome / at the end of each ordinary day? / The audience could be small, / the theater modest. Folding chairs / in a church basement would do. / But a short burst of applause / that you got up that morning / and, one way or another / made it through the day.

    • Ellen Bass,
    • "Don't Expect Applause," The Human Line ()