You are (not) special


So here it is, my grandeur deconstruction of a popular phrase I have heard all so much practically everywhere I go, which applies to a factor of everyone, or at least people would like it to. It never really made sense to me, no matter what kind of ‘special’ we’re talking about. The syntax itself is already being used in a loosely unspecific context.

Firstly, however, I need to get something out of the way. I am in no way talking about ‘special people’, America’s favourite referral system for the mentally retarded. Just like ‘senior citizens’ or ‘differently abled’, ‘special people’ is another phrase I refuse to use. It does nothing but put a negative connotation on a perfectly reasonable word “retard”. I understand at great length that these days, ‘retard’ is used for much tamer thing that its original intended meaning. However, changing the name of the condition isn’t going to help any of these people but to put on a facade that anyone actually cares. If these words didn’t exist, apparently people would realise that they’re required to actually do something, that actually helps these people better than referring to them with a cuter name.

With that out of the way, let’s move on. What defines a ‘special’ person? Someone who isn’t ordinary makes sense, with characteristics not commonly found in the masses. By its very definition, it means that everyone is NOT special. With a huge chance, you’re not special. You might be special to a few, but that does not make you special in a general sense. You’re just as forgettable as the next bloke, and will never rise above that. Being in the minority doesn’t make you special either, though, because while there are statistically fewer people who share that one specific traits with you, chances are, you share many other traits with a large number of people. The majority – minority doesn’t work, as it doesn’t make anyone special. No one ever asked for the syntax, or data of how much you are allowed to be in the minority before you’re considered ‘special’, and thus I accept none as such.

Let’s be completely realistic here. You’re probably going to get old, aspire to raise a family at some point, look at retirement, and then die, not in that order. I don’t care how different you think you are, but you’re not really. Everyone says they’re different. Everyone says they’re special. They’re not. You’re not. A lot of you have accepted that fact, and maybe that makes you special. Ironically, the very social construct you’re being raised in, and is inspired by, means you can never be special. Being a statistically unlikely few isn’t special, because everyone is like that. Everyone is unique, but that doesn’t mean a thing. A person can be unique just by existing as a specific entity, but it doesn’t help you or anyone else. While David McCullough has spoken some of the truer words than people are used to, he did but scratch the surface. His speech was far too contextualised, not to his fault necessarily, but rather for the sake of brevity. I’ll take it a bit further: you are not special. Regardless of whoever’s reading this, what kind of personal accomplishment you’ve achieved, and other people say about you, you are not special. You’re eventually nothing more than just a blip in the space-time continuum. Whatever impacts you did, or will, make matters not in the grand scheme of things. This planet alone is far bigger than you, and most likely, the universe won’t give a toss.

You may point to me and say: ‘why should I listen to you? You’re no better than me!’

I’m not. I never claim to be. You’ve known from the very start that my opinion doesn’t matter, because you can choose to ignore it entirely. I have never tried to convince you otherwise. That nagging feeling at the back of your mind, that speaks out against my writings, is all you. I’m just another person on the internet. I’m just here to make you think, because I will never be able to accomplish anything else. Think of me that way if it makes you feel better, just know that regardless of how much you think I’m wrong, I’ll never care. That’s the reality of it, and at some point it’ll hit you. It’s quite a feeling, of both disappointment and emancipation. You’ll never know true freedom unless you liberate yourself from the expectations of the world. At the end of the day, that’s all I have ever wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, however, I’m not here to say you should give up. Far from it, in fact. The only aim of liberation is for you to do great things. You will most likely fail, but no one cares. No one you need to know ever cares about the eventual fate of all living beings, so don’t bother yourself with such things. Just live your life, like you’d have otherwise. After all, if you truly believe I am wrong, feel free to try your best and make yourself useful. Don’t do it to prove me wrong, though, do it for yourself, for your loved ones, and for those who you want to impact, for the entire world if you’re so passionate. I’ll never care, so make the best of it.

Good luck.

The image belongs to Victoria Park Florist


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