- Education and Science
Ordinary, Common, and Average
We are all unique and special in our own ways. We all have different thought process, learning skills, and urges to be satisfied. But, we also share the same mission in life – to live, reproduce, and contribute. Not everyone will live long enough to reproduce. Not everyone will have the chance to choose the right mate to raise a family. Some will contribute more, some will contribute less, and some will contribute the good, the bad, or the ugly. There are people who will become the leader of a nation or the villain of the society. There are people who will bring peace and prosperity or war and destruction to the world. There are people who will unravel the mysteries of Nature or expose the human’s heart of darkness. But, it is the ordinary, the common, and the average, who obey the laws of the land, do what they are supposed to, and are contented with what they have, that are the fabric and stabilizing force behind a long and lasting civilization.
The Basic Needs
Without the support of the average people, the general population, the leader of a nation will not last long. When the leader treats one’s citizens as personal property without justice and respect, the leader is one step away to become a prisoner. A wise leader learns that in order to enjoy the position of privilege, luxury, and power, one has to take care of the common people’s basic needs:
1) A safe and comfortable home to raise the family,
2) A job with enough pay to support the livelihood,
3) A justice system that treats and protects everyone equally and squarely.
It is no easy task to accomplish these seemingly simple requirements, especially, when one has to deal with a large group of people. However, the rewards are the whole-hearted, sometimes, blinded devotion and the vast physical and intellectual resources of the ordinary people.
The Vital Functions
The life of the ordinary people may be unglamorous, repetitive, and unrewarding. Yet,
1) Without their dedication in raising a healthy, happy, and cultured family, the future of our society will be sick, lawless, and unproductive.
2) Without their quiet submission to the menial works at the factory or the pencil- pushing/keyboard-tapping job at the office, our commerce will grind to a halt.
3) Without their regular patronage to the market places, entertainment venues, and the tourism, our world will be a blend and boring place.
4) Without their tenacity to endure the unbearable, the ability to appreciate the wonder and beauty of Nature, and the willingness to tolerate our differences in thought, personality, and capability, our survival on Earth will not be possible.
5) Without their struggles to face and solve the problems in the journey of life, our civilization will not be enthralled with the unforgettable tales of heart-breaking love, soul-touching friendship, and, or emotion-draining adventure.
Role in Life
Nature works in quantity not quality to ensure the survival of the species. In the insect world, good examples are the scavenging ants, pollinating bees, or dead-wood disposing termites, etc. However, in the animal world, it is another story due to the limited food resources, the number is much smaller and the playing field is more confined. Good examples are the African wildebeest, the Arctic penguins, or the jungle bats, etc. The common denominator for the longevity of the above mentioned species is that the majority of the population follows one another to do what it is supposed to. This results in a pattern of uniformity, conformity, and eco-harmony. Unlike the insects and the rest of the animal world, in addition to seeking food for survival, we are also given the ability to create and manufacture food from the raw materials in the surrounding. As a result, we can live and survive anywhere on Earth. With this new ability also comes new responsibility. Each person no longer follows the others to do what one is supposed; each person has one’s own role in life and functions to perform. This extra degree of freedom and independence has changed the life on Earth from everyone doing the same thing for the survival of the whole to each person doing different things to explore and exploit what life on Earth can offer.
Life on Earth does not happen by chance. It has taken Nature more than 3.5 billion years, under a set of physical laws and the right environmental conditions, to mode and to shape the unimaginably complex human beings from a comprehensively simple group of organic molecules. During this long journey, millions of different living species came and went, and some stayed. We are the latest product. In a relatively short times of 7000 years, through the awareness and understanding of the world around, we have created and maintained a civilization that is the cumulative efforts of all the common, the ordinary, and the average. For example:
1) The farmer who tirelessly cultivates the land to provide food for the population,
2) The parent who dutifully rears the next generation of the population,
3) The teacher who patiently educates the young for our complex world,
4) The office worker who keeps our commerce alive,
5) The factory worker who manufactures the machines that run our society,
6) The nurse who takes care of the sick and the disabled in the hospital,
7) The construction worker who builds the houses and infrastructures that our society depends on, etc.
No doubt, there were inventors, leaders, authors, scientists, etc. who with their specially born abilities, had altered the course of our civilization. But it is the silent majority who, born with an affinity for simple life and status quo, will keep the course of our civilization on the right track.