Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why be ORDINARY???

I found this online (no bio was given--see www.houstonsahm.com ) and thought it was really worth sharing. You don't have to be a "mom" to appreciate this.~~Edie

It's pretty funny the things that we'll do as moms to fit in. For instance, how often do you restrain yourself from doing something that might seem crazy (like running through the waterfall at the park), or have you ever failed to express your opinion about a topic (such as child discipline) for fear it wouldn't be popular with the other moms in your group?Don't get us wrong... Fitting in with a group is a good thing. It gives us a sense of belonging, identity, and security, and it establishes group-specific expectations of how each individual will act and respond to others in the group. In this way, it reduces misunderstandings and the social gyrations otherwise necessary to establish.

But at the same time, the pressure to be a "typical" mom can quelch your personal expression and creativity and smother the urge to be extraordinary. Think about it... When was the last time you pointed to someone and said, "Wow, that woman is so normal – I'd like to be just like that!" Instead, consider the heroes you admire and respect, whether they be political, religious, athletic, or in some other walk of life. Nelson Mandela; Mother Theresa; Gandhi; Tiger Woods – to name a very few – are these people ordinary?

We all have the ability and opportunity to act in ways that are not ordinary, ways that expand our horizons and enhance our lives and the lives of others. It's usually fear that stops us: fear of stepping outside the defined normal conduct of our group, of being thought "weird" or – well, yes, abnormal. But it's by doing the unusual and the extraordinary that we can introduce the people in our circles, including our very own children, to new, interesting concepts and ideas, and can surprise ourselves by being more of who we are instead of less.

We invite you, therefore, to do something wonderfully not ordinary. Take a small step, even a baby step, outside your comfortable boundaries and don't be afraid to let others appreciate you for who you truly are. You can start by voicing an opinion you have that might not be popular with the other moms in your play group or your circle of friends. Then think about how it felt, and how you plan to keep extending yourself into being totally you.

Remember the words of Mark Twain: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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