Friday, May 29, 2009

Don't be Special...

Did you know that there's a HUGE difference between being special and being unique?  


So many parents are used to telling their children "You're special" in an attempt to build up self-esteem and self-confidence.  What these parents do not realize is that "special" implies separateness.  If I'm special (i.e. set apart, different, possibly superior), what does that make everyone else?  Less than.

More than this, if my 'specialness' is based on everyone else being ordinary (i.e. not special like me), what happens when I grow up and meet someone who, to me and everyone else, has a new kind of special I don't have?

Special implies separation.  Built within it is the feeling of competition.  If you're special than it has to be in contrast to other people which means others have got to be ordinary.  There's no feeling good all the time with special because, in one way or another, you're always keenly aware that someone could show up and be more special than you, thus eroding self-esteem and self-confidence.

The truth is that you and I are no more special than anyone else.  What each person is is unique.

The definition of unique is as follows:
"radically distinctive and without equal."

By definition, there is no comparing one unique person to another.  There is no equal to your uniqueness.  There is no other you and there will never be another you.  In this sense, your self-esteem and confidence are eternal because what you offer cannot be measured against or compared to someone else... and neither can theirs.

Within each of us are the seeds of greatness.  No one is excluded which means no one is special and every single person is unique.  

The bottom line?

Stop trying to be special and totally embrace the fact that you're unique.  Pass this on to your children so they grow up knowing that it's good to be "radically distinctive and without equal."   

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