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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Defining Extraordinary

Extraordinary People

An acquaintance commented the other day that I was an extraordinary person. The comment took me aback. I don’t consider myself extraordinary. I’m just a normal person coping with life. It got me thinking, though. What makes an extraordinary person?

Many people idolize sports figures or celebrities. It’s easy to say they are extraordinary because you aren’t close enough to see the flaws. It’s easy to overlook warts from a distance. To me, the most extraordinary people are those in my neighborhood, those who cross my path in life. No, they are not perfect, but they have their moments where they shine brilliantly. The neighbor who friends the teenager struggling to define their place in life, lifting them to a higher purpose. The couple who stay together through tough times and still love and cherish each other into old age, never straying. The employee at the store who strives to treat each customer with courtesy and respect, meeting impatience and anger with an unwavering friendliness. These are my heroes.

So what makes a person extraordinary? The courage and conviction to live a moral life, no matter what others may say. The passion to reach higher, to keep trying. I have a quote in my office that I hope I live up to in my life. “People are like stained glass windows–they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in their true beauty is only revealed if there is a light within.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. May we all live with a light shining brightly. May we reach to become extraordinary through small daily acts of service, love, and kindness.

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