Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I Am Not A Unique Snowflake
Yes, I'm quoting 'Fight Club' but that line spoke to me during that film.
Some films are entertaining, some are exciting, other just make me feel good. But on a rare occassion, I get a film that makes me think.
In one section of the film, the nameless soldiers are digging in the 'garden'. Tyler Durbin's voice is repeating, "You are not a unique snowflake. You are not special."
And yes, you could take that in a negative way but for me it was a relief. If I am not special, if I am not a unique snowflake, then I can relax. I can just be ordinary me.
Because a person who has great abilities, who is unique, also has great responsibilities. If you are gifted, you obligated to develop those gifts for the betterment of yourself and those that follow you.
If you are ordinary, you can sit the game out or follow at your leisure.
To be special, you live your whole life expecting more. Expecting your 'unique snowflakeness' to be acknowledged.
But if your ordinary, things are not always going to go your way. You will not get to go to the front of the line. Sometimes other people will win.
Take a deep breath with me. It is truly okay not to be extraordinary.
It is okay just to be you.
So many parents I know have raised their kids with the idea that they are the best, the most wonderful, the most unique snowflake in the world. While I applaud their efforts to build self-esteem, this attitude doesn't do their kids any favors.
I think some kids feel that they have to be perfect. That they have to be that unique snowflake in all it's spiral glory.
That's a lot of pressure.
What happens when the world doesn't agree that they are the most gifted or the most wonderful? What happens if they don't get a trophy like everyone else?
They fall apart.
What one should know is that being an 'ordinary snowflake' is acceptable. That learning to see your flaws and your abilities together makes you a stronger person. That drive is almost as important as talent.
Working for something, striving for something beyond your scope is admirable. You might just stretch far enough to get to your goal. And even if you don't reach it, look at what you learned on the journey.
Being ordinary is not a terrible thing.
Many ordinary people have done extraordinary things because they weren't afraid to fail.
I am not a unique snowflake. But even an ordinary snowflake is a wonderous thing to behold.