I am an ordinary | Teen Ink

I am an ordinary

September 22, 2022
By SamanthaXie GOLD, Guangzhou, Other
SamanthaXie GOLD, Guangzhou, Other
10 articles 3 photos 0 comments

"I want to be a scientist!"

“I want to be a famous actress!”




Everybody wants to be an extraordinary person and do extraordinary things. This was the answer our primary school teacher received when she asked us what kind of person we wanted to be. "Ordinary" was a derogatory term, which meant that the person might not have tried hard and achieved worldly success. My family, in which most of the members are people from the bottom of society, also expects their children to change their classes. So, even though I didn't know what ordinary and extraordinary were then, I still worked hard and hoped to stand out as an extraordinary student.

However, as I grew up, got in touch with diverse people and things, and saw more aspects of the world, I gradually identify myself as one of the general public. I belong to the ordinary. I realized that we should not give all credit for sustaining the society and promoting development to elites –– rather, the society was built up by countless ordinary people. Construction workers use bricks and cement to build prosperous high-rise buildings; sanitation workers clean the streets every morning; cheap hotels give shelter to the poor... Each of these ordinary people may just be a small drop in the flood and does not leave any traces in the pages of history, but they collectively contribute to extraordinary feats of human beings.

Who can define what is "ordinary?”

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” I want to make these glimmers visible, and they deserve to be seen. My reconciliation with the identity of "ordinary people" motivates me to document more of these seemingly trivial stories through media. I am always running on the way, recording and trying to understand individuals’ lives, touching their hearts, and building a sense of belongingness, as an ordinary person.

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