Sunday, October 2, 2016
I would rather tell a child that they are unique rather than special. I would explain unique as meaning that the child has gifts and talents that they need to discover and develop so that they can be the person God made them to be. So the child does not need to try and look, act, and be like everyone else. Become yourself, not some other person. If every boy in your class wants to play football, but you are attracted to the violin, then you go for the violin. That is your uniqueness. Being told that one is "special" too often ends up them thinking that they are better than others in their differences. "Special" sets a very high bar in relation to others. The violin player does not have to play the instrument better than others play football. There is no competition. When you are called special, the pressure is on to do better than others in grades and common achievements. Special people end up comparing and contrasting. They fail to identify with others around them. If their lives become messy, or they develop bad habits, they are befuddled as to why this special person is doing so badly. Special people can end up quite lonely and maybe even suicidal. I thank my sister Maureen for convincing me that I am not special. Boy, was she unique.