Why Is an Ordinary Life Not Good Enough Anymore? – Alain De Botton

Updated: Dec 22, 2020


Video from FightMediocrity


You and I live an ordinary life.

We live in a society that is fueled more by idealism that we create through social media, where the lives we create anything but ordinary. That is an illusion of our own making.

We consume so much of our energy on-line that we forget our own visions and aspirations.


The reality is the life we think is ordinary has the potential to be extraordinary in ways we can't imagine. What you do will not move mountains, be in news headlines, or be something you remember in years to come, but we can still do great things for your community and family to about something healthy and positive.


Our culture has perpetuated the shallow prideful and sinful belief that being famous or well known is the goal of life. To make the ordinary extraordinary, it will require our attention to be focused on the here and now, on being present instead of looking on Twitter or Instagram for safety or fulfilment.


Vermeer paintings

Jan Vermeer van Delft, was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer wanted to show us what was appealing and honorable about everyday ordinary activities: keeping a house clean, sweeping the yard, babysitting, sewing or – as in his painting of a kitchen maid – preparing lunch.

Think back about all of the ordinary yet difficult things your parents did for you!


In a culture that celebrates newness and excitement as absolute entitlement, we are tempted to believe that living an ordinary life of faithfulness to God is a dull alternative. But an ordinary life of faith to an extraordinary God is anything but dull. God cares deeply for us, his people, and lives devoted to making much of him are full of joy. David tells us, “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!’” (Psalm 35:27).


May God make us content living ordinary lives of faithfulness instead of searching for fame and clutching at the wind. No earthly fame can rival the joy our Master has stored up for us.

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