I chose to accept the topics proposed, so I accepted this one – I would not have chosen to do so, it is quite personal.
I was never ordinary, I was born extraordinary.
But my parents did the right thing, they treated me as ordinary. So I learned to do ordinary things and didn’t feel different
The fact that I was physically extraordinary just meant I looked different and did things differently.
My family and friends took no notice, sometimes trying to help if I was slow. I rejected these attempts, sometimes rudely. I can’t remember anything my contemporaries could do that I couldn’t. I often wasn’t very good but neither they nor I cared.
They did me right.
Some tasks were perhaps a bit more challenging so I developed some sort of tenacity or determination to persevere. It was sometimes embarrassing – I recall a fancy dinner at the Royal Swazi Hotel with a friend and his parents.
I ordered lamb chops and insisted and persisted on cutting them up myself, rebuffing all offers of help. Everyone, including me, was mortified. I usually order spaghetti if I go out these days.
In some instances I was downright dangerous and once I gave up. I still feel sick about it, even though I know it was the right thing to do.
I was a Personnel Superintendent on a shaft sinking site of a new mine and felt it important that I visited the workplace. During the years 1995 and 1996, Moab Khotsong recorded the worst safety statistics in the mining industry
Eventually sick of my nagging the Mine Manager took me with him.
We climbed into a bowl suspended on a cable and were lowered down the shaft a few hundred feet. It stopped and we dismounted onto a narrow platform on the side of the shaft, which was only about 800 meters deep by then.
The rest of the descent was via a vertical ladder. My hands became so slippery with sweat that I surrendered at the third rung and returned to the platform. I chickened out.
Extraordinary is someone else’s judgement.
I am not extraordinary, I just do things differently. I have no claim to anything but ordinary, except maybe my sense of humour.
Story proposed by Rubes Carter