The Veil Of The Ordinary

Gave a presentation to a group of master’s-level students a couple of days ago. They were in their 20s from what I could tell. My topic with them was US Air Flight 1549, Sullenberger’s emergency landing in the Hudson River.

I told them something that both you and I need to remember for ourselves. My title for the module is “The Extraordinary Ordinary Day.” 155 people took off from an airport thinking about destinations, sleep, maybe getting a cup of coffee, the ordinaries of life. Within roughly 90 seconds, the extraordinaries of life cast their vote.

I’ve just finished scanning a headline about a school shooting near Cleveland, Ohio. 1 dead, 4 wounded, and 1 in custody. Once again, the extraordinaries of life made an appearance.

You can’t hide behind the assumption that these things are out of my life, they don’t happen to me. Doesn’t make any difference if they do exactly or not. Something will. Something serious, surprising, and with the power to make everyone turn to you for the faintest of moments certainly will happen to you. It will be your turn in the barrel. Like it was Sullenberger’s and the rest of the 154 people that January day in 2009.

It will happen to you.