make the ordinary come alive



Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a 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.

credits: poetry by William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching, image by

62 responses »

  1. Show them how to cry when pets and people die… I would only hope that they are able to, to express, to feel, to know, from the simple things to the hard in life and in ordinary pleasures they will find happiness. Beautiful Beth x


  2. A lovely and important sentiment. And yet, so often, it’s the children who teach us to appreciate the ordinary. They are often the ones who see and appreciate the wonder in the things we’ve come to overlook — the curl of a new leaf, the fuzziness of a tiny caterpillar, the twinkle of a star …


  3. Great advice. I love the part about showing children the wonders of ordinary life. Ordinary to us, maybe, but not to kids who “really” see things for the first time. That increases our appreciation for the ordinary wonders as well. πŸ˜‰


  4. This poem causes me to reflect on how we live as parents. I wonder if we focus too much on living vicariously through our children. Instead of being examples to follow, we are spectators of the next generation. Children need examples. What exactly are we showing them?


  5. Dude. I love this post. Very cool. I’m often trying to find the extraordinary in ordinary moments. And you’re right in the end extraordinary just shows up … lucky I’m ready sometimes πŸ™‚


  6. It is a lot of work to find something remarkably said and then find a nice illustrative print or artwork to go with it. This requires effort, energy, persistence until you find things that do work well together. Beth, thank you for following me. This is the first time I have posted to your site. I hope you were able to access my “Fish Tank Movie”. Jackie


    • my pleasure, jackie and putting things together is what i love to do, associations and connections with all things within the universe. it’s the collagist/puzzle solver within me )


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