I think somehow that those people who are held up as examples are exceptions, not the rule. The ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ thing. You know, those times when we, and others, point out the exceptions to say – look, it’s possible, if they can do it so can you.
But we do ourselves a disservice when this happens. For the exceptions are not the rule.
The rule is the rest of us, living messy lives, stringing life and money and events and people together in a sometimes haphazard, sometimes organised, often chaotic fashion
I see it with money. Some people just sock it away, make amazing investments, own three houses, retire early. We can learn from them – but, in our own way.
They, these people, are exceptions because of the cost, the life cost, the opportunity cost, the experience cost. There is always a cost to our actions, whatever that cost may be. And the cost for others may not be do-able, or even want-able. So we, the others not the exceptions, save and put money away for retirement but, no (sigh?), we don’t always make the best choices.
The same with food and exercise. Some seek perfection (a nebulous word, really, when one speaks in physical terms). They attain their version of this perfection. Yet, there are those of us who work hard, and eat well, but who also know that not all happiness is attained in physical terms. We count the cost of believing in physical beauty.
Homeschoolers do this, too. Some search for and write out the perfect schedule, the orderly classical curriculum, with children on track for early university and scholarships and ‘success’. Others do a bit of this, a bit of that, a great deal of messy learning and discussion while still reaching academic goals. This, indeed, is the norm and not the exception.
So, is it okay not to be exceptional?
Isn’t this just a version of accepting and promoting mediocrity?
I think not.
I think it is a version of wanting the good, of working towards that which is good, within the complexities of self, others and community.
I think that just keeping on, towards the good, can be a compassionate approach to life.Showing compassion and understanding for oneself and for others, both when we succeed and when we falter. In our messy, non-exceptional lives.