There Are *No* Ordinary People!


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“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

“All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

“And it is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself is truly hidden.”

– C. S. Lewis, from “The Weight of Glory“

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About John

I am a married, 46-year old, Midwesterner, with four children. My primary interest is in leading a very examined and decent and Loving life; my interests that are related to this and that feed into this include (and are not limited to) -- psychology, philosophy, poetry, critical thinking, photography, soccer, tennis, chess, bridge.
Image | This entry was posted in C.S. Lewis, Conscience, Mature Love, Real Love, Spiritual Growth, The Examined Life, Truth, Waking Up, What is Love? and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to There Are *No* Ordinary People!

  1. janeadamsart says:

    Mmm, what an awakener

    • John says:

      Agreed! Even if you strip this of the religious overtones, think of what a world this would be if this were practiced by more and more people! it would be unbelievable!

      Thank you, Jane, for reading and for commenting!

      Warmly,

      John

  2. Great perspective. I recall a comment of a Hollywood actor of yesteryear (I cannot remember the name) which went something like, “I have yet to come across a person who I could not like.”

    As we start ‘seeing’ other people as “not ordinary” but rather as folks who hold enormous potential and value in terms of their experiences, competences, thoughts, vision etc. our dealing with them would undergo a transformation.

    Shakti

    • John says:

      Agreed, Shakti. What would this world be like if more and more people truly lived and operated under the assumption that there actually was/is something divine and godly in each of us, if “namaste” really meant what it ought to mean, instead of being such a trendy watered-down throw-away greeting that it so often seems to be used as? (and our use of the concept “love” is little different than many peoples seeming use of “namaste”).

      Thank you for reading, Shakti, and for the thought-provoking comment!

      Kindest regards,

      John

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