EXTRAORDINARY people inspire us to rise above life’s ordeals and challenges.
Three good examples are José Rizal, whose writings galvanized Filipinos to seek Philippine independence from Spain; Mother Teresa, whose untiring charity works extended free service to the poorest of the poor; and Steve Jobs, whose pioneering ideas in computers changed the way we live.
But what if being unusual and different from the rest could be easier than we think?
Ateneo High School math teacher Emmanuel Jose Pavia, Em-J to friends and colleagues, wrote an essay addressed to his students and the Ateneo community about being extraordinary in our own way. His words will live on, even as his life has been cut short by an unknown gunman.
His piece focused on three things one can do to be extraordinary.
First is to do ordinary things extraordinarily well. Second, being extraordinary is a habit, and not based on a single act. Third, there should be desire if we truly want to be extraordinary.
We do not need to save people from life-threatening situations to be extraordinary. It can be as simple as preparing well for an exam, or perhaps cleaning up your mess after a meal. We can live our everyday lives, and doing what we do exceptionally well.
Being extraordinary is not based on a single event, or a single day. It is an everyday process in which we strive to be extraordinary. Doing good deeds everyday, be a beacon of light to everyone so you may inspire others to do the same.
Lastly, to be extraordinary, we must have the desire. In his own words, “we shouldn’t settle for just that.
“If we have the opportunity to be extraordinary, seize it, and never settle for anything less than giving our very best in whatever it is we do. Aim for the moon. That way, even if we miss, we’ll land among the stars.”
Thank you for the inspiring words. As a medical student, I should strive to be an extraordinary medical student—not only academically, but to give myself to the profession.
I shall take these three things with me on my way and beyond being a doctor of medicine.
This is for you, Em-J. You are an extraordinary man who inspired a lot of people.
Your words will live in the minds and hearts of those you have touched.