Remarkable, pathetic or mediocre? Those are the broad-stroked headings available to me as the writer of a daily essay such as this in conveying concepts and feelings.  In other words, I can talk about remarkable things, I can share something I deem pathetic, or I can joke with you about how some selection was made which proved to be mediocre.

Honestly, I don’t mind sharing with you my more pathetic or mediocre moments. Making fun of myself is the only sure source of material that never fails me and guarantees a good laugh.  But I generally do not choose to talk to you about pathetic things I see in the world around me, nor the mediocre that crosses my path. Candidly, I think you get enough of that from other sources. It’s not that I am some sort of Pollyanna penman, incapable of seeing the darker side of life. It’s just that I believe a certain amount of light is necessary to illuminate the even the darkness for review. I also contend that well-placed exhortation is fuel to the human tank and would rather do that instead of drilling a hole in the gas line, leaving us drained.

So last night I was overjoyed to meet a dear woman and her lovely young daughter. It was not a large crowd that gathered for our presentation in Oxford, Pennsylvania. It is often difficult for our sponsors to explain to the potential audiences exactly what we are going to do when we arrive–and when you add in a little apathy, a touch of disgust, frustration and a big dose of “I don’t know who they are,” sometimes the size of the gathering can be a bit lean.

So as I put on my show last night, the sparseness of the spectacle before me did allow for me to notice this woman and her daughter sitting in the array.  The mother had her arm around the daughter, and they exchanged smiles and rib pokes all during the show. It almost brought tears to my eyes to see two people from different generations enjoying one thing at the same time. And then, when the fine lady and her offspring came to the table, I discovered that they had driven by the church at 6:30 that evening, spotted the announcement on the marquee about the concert and had decided to run home, clean up quickly and come back for the show. I don’t even know whether they had ever been in that church before.

They were alive. They were beautiful. They were remarkable.

Now you must understand, in the presence of every remarkable story, there is also a mediocre tale and a pathetic one. Because nothing is truly remarkable unless it exceeds expectation and rises out of the pit of pathetic and mediocre. I could tell you about the pathetic folk who might have had much more information than this lady, but decided to stay home because they “didn’t know enough about it'” or were too tired or too busy. I could even tell you about some who did show up for the performance, but instead of letting it in, viewed it as if they were watching television or perusing the Internet–barely a passing glance.

But I don’t think that makes a good story. We spend too much time in this country discussing what doesn’t work, why it doesn’t work and who’s to blame. As the genius once said, “I, for one, am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

I’m going to walk around with a little spotlight in my hand, shining it on every remarkable thing I see and every remarkable person I meet–until we finally get the idea that “remarkable” is the only way to live. I just looked at that beautiful young daughter and knew she was going to be all right–because she had a mother who was spontaneous and moved out to do something good with her that they both could enjoy–and put her arm around her the whole time to let her know that she loved her.

Now, that’s just candy bars and cupcakes in a world filled with fast-food-greasy-grub.

So you can feel free to commiserate over all the pathetic things in our world if you want to. You can shake your head in disgust over the mediocre manner in which politics, government, corporations and religion handle their business.

Not for me. I would rather find one remarkable woman who reaches out to touch the hem of life’s garment, believing she will receive a miracle.

Remarkable means it’s worthy of receiving our attention–and remarks.

So, my dear lady and your sweet daughter, you now have been shone upon by the light of revelation of words–and read by tens of thousands of people. For after all, if we actually begin to believe that remarkable has more benefit to our life than being pathetic and mediocre, well … who knows?

We might actually go home, change clothes and make it to the show.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Love this story about a ‘remarkable’ lady and her daughter! As I know I have read in your columns at various times, it is the ‘quality’ that counts, not the ‘quantity!’ Continue on with your good works for the remarkable people fortunate enough to be in your audiences!!


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