Monday, October 7, 2013

You ARE Special...Just Like Everyone Else

Pumpkin Pie's booster.  The booster seats look like this at your house too, right?
A lot of this topic of ordinary was fleshed out after reading an article that floated around Facebook.  You can read it here, but basically (I think) it talks about how our generation is quite depressed because they've grown up hearing how special they are and how they can do anything they want, and they're finding that they're not being handed gold stars and six figure incomes at the age of 30, despite how special they are.  There are some fun graphs to illustrate this, featuring flowers and unicorns, and it's an interesting article.  It's what really got me thinking about being ordinary.

First of all, I'm not blaming my parents for anything.  I do NOT think they raised me to believe that I was more special than anyone else.  I'm a middle child.  Middle children are probably raised with the most realistic view of themselves.  But in general, I completely agree that my generation has been raised with the idea that we are special, to which one would logically conclude that if I am special, I am more so than the next person.  That's why being ordinary is so offensive.  If I call my life ordinary, then I am admitting that someone else's life is better than mine.  And that is in direct contradiction to the message that I have heard my entire life.

So here is my conclusion.  Not everyone is special.  There ARE special people out there doing special things, but chances are it won't be you.  Chances are your life will be ordinary.  The very definitions of the words demand it.  But that is okay.  Being ordinary does not make you less valuable than anyone else.  EVERY life has the same value.  EVERY life is worth living.

What I think the message should be is that you are unique.  God has uniquely crafted every single person into something different, so that each person has something unique to offer the world.  If you weren't here, something would be missing because your specific combination of attributes and skills and interests would be absent.

Will everyone be famous or be the president or get a book deal or be CEO?  No!  Does everyone have the capability?  Maybe.  But maybe we need to stop telling our kids that all or any of this will happen for them.  We should tell them that they ARE unique and that they should work to the best of their ability, but we need to be careful not to promise them anything.  If we ARE going to tell them that they are special, then we need to include the fact that being special does not mean that they will be handed special things just for being special.

And we need to tell them that being ordinary is okay.  That it's good, even.  That being ordinary does not make them worth less than their more famous or successful counterparts.

I welcome all dissenting opinions about this.

Miss any ordinary-ness?  Catch up here!
31 Days of Ordinary

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