ordinary and extraordinary



~2 min read


202 words

The following is an excerpt from William Martin’s The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents.

Do not ask your children
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.

I read two editions of the Tao Te Ching last year, but I have to say that, while an amazing and inspiring text, I never felt the way I felt reading this passage from Martin’s book.

This is not just good advice for parents. This is good advice for living.

Live fully. Live by example. Live ordinarily. Everyday there are pleasures enough for a wonderfully rich life, ripe for plucking. We just need to remember to look.

h/t to Arjun by way of Rohan

Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!