Beauty through the Ordinary

A certain confession (like, Catholic Confession, that is) I once went through had me focusing on something I didn’t think much about before.

See, when the priest told me to be more obedient to my parents, he also noted how Jesus Christ lived His life as a carpenter in Nazareth, growing up following Mary and Joseph as well, before He went out to do His preaching and miracles and all that.

After having that pointed out, a bunch of things made a lot more sense to me. Like, say, Saint John Bosco’s reminder to “Do your ordinary duties extraordinarily well,” which still is repeating in my memories a lot thanks to my whole high school years being spent in a Don Bosco school plus regularly going to churches which were run by Salesians, among other things. Along with that, the difference of Jesus from the sorts of heroes I longed to be back then made more sense to me as well.

I’m sure that my younger self wouldn’t quite grasp that, let alone like it, for I was quite an impatient boy back then. I still have issues with that even now, considering my remaining interest in the showy and over-the-top ways of entertainment, but I don’t think that it’s still as strong as it was back then.

Anyway, can you believe it? Imagine: You meet a man who claims to be God the Son, preaching to a bunch of people, even to the higher-ups of the religious community, when all you know of Him is that He was just some carpenter from Nazareth, the only child of some couple named Mary and Joseph. If we didn’t know better, which is a state that all of us living peeps on Earth are still in (but in different degrees), we’d call Him crazy! How can He say such things? Does He even care for the good of society? Does He even care for the people who raised Him?

Certainly, my younger self, who dreamt to be very much like a shounen manga hero with all those flashy moves, yet still claimed that he believed in God, would be having a mixture of emotions, with sore disappointment at the top of it all. Like, the secret to true happiness means first having to go through being some ordinary guy who obeys his parents while serving a boring society that can’t seem to fix itself without somebody crazy awesome shaking it up? Boo! Can’t I get to the whole majestic teaching parts and stuff already?

Yeah, I’ve been thinking like that a lot back then. Maybe even now too. Lesser degree, yeah, but it’s still there, like in how I’ve been working on stuff as The Overlord Bear in the past and, still, even lately. Caring so much about becoming some online idol, yet not caring for my more basic yet still important needs, particularly things like my relationship with my family, my remaining years of education, and the sharpening of my housekeeping skills. Sure, it’s bad to consider God less important than those things, but the problem in my case is that in my attempts to get closer to God, I’ve been considering the ordinary as something unimportant. I’ve been doubting God by doubting the importance of the ordinary, letting myself be swallowed by the cynicism that’s been permeating our society lately. Why do I have to live with such imperfect parents, with such imperfect superiors, with such imperfect citizens, all living some boring cycle of stupidity? I can still feel that doubt trying to drag me back, asking me about whether or not I care about the people I formed bonds with the way of thinking that I had when I did so. I can imagine the disappointment when they find me not acting as they like even more, and I can imagine the disgust when they find me saying that I’d rather die for the perfect morals of God than live for the flawed morals of the world.

But you know what, it’s more foolish to act like some gloomy anti-hero or something, ruining your head even more by rambling on and on about some philosophical stuff I need to think about more quietly before uttering it all to the public. And hey, I still got chores to do, a course to finish, a family to learn from, and of course, a society to help improve. And above all that is a God who’s waiting for me to call for His help.

So yeah, we can find beauty through the ordinary. There’s a lot of examples, and I won’t be listing all of them here for you to read in one sitting. I’mma try to show it to you like how ordinary life tends to show it, see. And hey, my slow embrace of that perspective has been showing in my changing tastes in the arts and such, too. A lot of those action-packed shounen and seinen genre stories have been becoming more dizzying to me, and all those more subdued romance and slice-of-life stories have been becoming more fascinating to me. Not like I completely lost interest in superhero stories, with my admiration for Elena Buncaras‘s Superhero Problems being one example, though, but I can certainly say that my tastes there have changed significantly. Think of it like a shift in interest from “comparing superhero power levels” to “wondering about how superhero powers can be used for true good.” That, and I think my increased interest in comedy is also a sign…but my shifting interest in sorts of comedy is probably a clearer sign. To be more specific, mean comedy is something I’ve been losing interest in lately…

A part of me finds that shifting saddening, yeah, but I also feel like I’ve been finding a lot more beautiful things in my life lately with all that. They’re all difficult things, yeah, but doing household chores and caring for my family better makes me feel like a worthier man, going through more school days and learning more about how society works with more open-mindedness makes me feel like a more worthwhile citizen, and appreciating the Holy Hour and Sunday Masses with more cheer makes me feel like I’m really becoming someone worthier in God’s eyes.

I still have a long way to go, though, but I won’t give up.

And hey, if you ever find yourself having sparked interest in God and all that, then you get some encouragement! And even if you don’t, well, you still get some encouragement! Like, I’m sure you can find more worthwhile days, yo!

So yeah, God bless you all, dear readers! May you find beauty through the ordinary as well!

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