Monday, September 9, 2013

an ordinary life

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.

― William Martin, The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents


  1. As said, when looking intently towards the 'ordinary' the 'extra' takes on a life of it's own! x

    1. Yes. And the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

  2. That's the "magic"/joy isn't it, seeing the sacred/wonder in the ordinary and teaching this to the children. But I wonder if they see this and we somehow "teach" it out of them. We take away the wonder of life and reduce it down to names and labels of *things*... and life becomes "work" instead of play... sigh...

    1. I agree utterly, Christine. It is they who should teach us these "small" wonders, the ones that matter.

  3. Wonderful! I'm going to send this to my daughter and ask her to consider it in the context of her own children.

  4. Now...if only all your grandchildren can come to your farm forever and LIVE in this truth, Ruth!


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