This short poem by W.H. Auden is a stark reminder that not everyone is destined for “greatness”.
That said, “greatness” means different things to different people, there is nothing wrong with an “ordinary” life so long as you are truly happy.
We make sacrifices for others, in this case parents for their children, but this can add undue pressure and adds burden where we mean to add support.
His peasant parents killed themselves with toil
To let their darling leave a stingy soil
For any of those smart professions which
Encourage shallow breathing, and grow rich.
The pressure of their fond ambition made
Their shy and country-loving child afraid
No sensible career was good enough,
Only a hero could deserve such love.
So here he was without maps or supplies,
A hundred miles from any decent town;
The desert glared into his blood-shot eyes;
The silence roared displeasure: looking down,
He saw the shadow of an Average Man
Attempting the Exceptionl, and ran.