Thoughts

On the extraordinary

If most people are destined for mediocrity, what makes a person extraordinary to you?

 

Mediocrity is meaningless, and knowing a person is all it takes to make them extraordinary to me.

There are 7,000,000,000 human beings alive on this planet right now. Another 100,000,000,000 have already lived their lives and died. Every last one us is a staggering 1 in 107,000,000,000, which makes every single person I get the opportunity to know absolutely and utterly extraordinary.

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21 thoughts on “On the extraordinary

      • Anna says:

        I was checking in to see that you hadn’t fallen into the “special snowflake” trap.
        However you have to admit most of us are rather boring and predictable specks of meat (which doesn’t mean that people can’t or shouldn’t love and respect each other). Extraordinary really isn’t appropriate.

        • Brynn says:

          Ask better questions. Uninteresting or boring generally refers back to the speaker. Either by choice or by lack of imagination, that person fails to uncover something they value in whatever they’re describing. Making a choice to disengage – because you’re too tired, too off-put, too whatever – is perfectly acceptable. But calling something boring, like most opinions, paired with a little context, is more telling of you than of what you describe.

          • coskel says:

            Ask better questions. Uninteresting or boring generally refers back to the speaker.

            THIS IN SO MANY WAYS

          • Anna says:

            All right, I didn’t say humans bored me (though sthe amount of time I spend on small talk makes me believe there is no purpose and no God). Just that objectively we are no where near interesting or extraordinary or great. And I don’t approve of this relativistic BS where “extraordinary” is equivalent to “mediocre”. And of course language doesn’t mean much without context cues, but if antonyms start meaning the same thing how are we supposed to communicate? Meaningful stares and glances ?

          • Strangely Rational says:

            “Just that objectively we are no where near interesting or extraordinary or great.”

            I don’t see anything objective about those value judgments.

            Furthermore, I don’t see the problem with communication. It’s not like we’re limited to only one word and aren’t allowed to elaborate.

          • Anna says:

            Oh I dont mind the boredom and I never denied belonging to a boring and predictable majority of humans.
            It isn’t a value judgement just an observation. I don’t need life to be a constant adventure or acquaintances to be idols (depending on your generation and level of engagement with social media, that might be more or less hard to imagine).

            A question to you, why is being boring and predictable a bad thing in your mind ? The complete opposite would be a rather volatile human being, not someone you want to have dinner with or fall in love with. Do why the need to feel special Brynn?

          • Brynn says:

            Woh, hey, I wasn’t making a judgement either. I said “refers back to,” not describes the speaker. It refers to you, that you are bored with the subject, not that the subject is boring.

            I said that, like most opinions, it reveals something about you. I didn’t say what that reveals because that depends on context. It could reveal that you are too tired to find anything of interest. It could reveal that you prioritize other interests. Maybe it gives a slight indication of depression. And yes, maybe it points to a lack of imagination, but that is not what I’m implying.

            The way you use and interpret language tells an audience a lot about you, about how you think. Hell, language is how you think. But it doesn’t always communicate the things you want it to. Boring is an especially subjective word, and if I said “our mutual friend George is boring,” it tells you way more about me than it does about George.

      • CharChar says:

        This is one of my absolute favorite quotes of yours. I have it up on my wall and it never fails to help me put things in perspective when I read it.

      • Anna says:

        I’d much rather die on our boring middle aged planet. We should take care of the planet we have, try to repair our relationship with it, rather than looking for a younger sexier version.

  1. Jonathan says:

    We each get to define our definition of Greatness. I can think of humble, decent but unknown personages who are Lion-Hearted Titans of Humanity. Will their names echo through history? Their faces carved in granite to be awesome for generations to come? No. That isn’t my definition of Greatness. Grandeur can come in many forms, my metric puts service to others and gratitude in existence higher than resounding deeds of high renown. Interrogate your own standards and I think you’ll find they aren’t quite entirely your own.

  2. Ann says:

    “Extraordinary”, in the sense the question uses it, tries to trick you into judging people by external standards of worth. If you are suspicious of cultural expectations to try to be the smartest, the prettiest, the best, the richest, the most successful, the most commodifying and competitive, then you’ll find “extraordinary” in the a dubious descriptor of true worth.

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