How I went from ordinary to extraordinary!

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

Author: manqindi

Post imperial wind drift. Swazi, British, Zimbabwe-Rhodesian, Irish, New Zealand citizen and resident, now in Queensland, Australia. 10th generation African of mainly European descent. Catholic upbringing, more free thinker now. BA and Law background. Altar boy, wages clerk, uncle, prefect, student, court clerk, prosecutor, magistrate, convoy escort, pensioner, HR Practitioner, husband, stepfather, father, bull terrier lover, telephone interviewer, Call Centre manager, HR manager, grandfather, author (amateur)

5 thoughts on “How I went from ordinary to extraordinary!”

  1. Thanks for that – well done. It’s not an every day topic. There is extraordinary and there is common sense: thank goodness common sense won out in the matter of the mine descent

    On Thu, 25 Feb 2021 at 5:48 am, sillysocksonfriday wrote:

    > manqindi posted: ” 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 le” >


  2. That was so vulnerable it really touched the heart and that is how magic happens! You are extraordinary so never believe anything less. It was a beautiful response to my title I feel honoured.


  3. I remember playing rugby for the first time at St Marks primary and you were the most enthusiastic and bravest of all.


  4. Hey Mal I remember very clearly an occasion down in the woods below the Mbabane Club when we were about 10 or 11. A bend in the stream there had formed a high vertical bank, a little cliff for us, which you and Patrick Pitcher climbed while I chickened out – very impressive on your part, fairly pathetic on mine.
    Now 60 years later we have a big old elephant bull who is a regular visitor to our camp on the Zambezi who is named after you, because in addition to combining an imposing presence with a very tolerant attitude at some stage in his youth he lost the tip of his trunk with the prehensile projections which elephants use which such dexterity, yet hasn’t allowed it to handicap him at all – just got on with life.
    Hope you are well and we can meet up some time – who knows when.
    Roddy Smith


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