“When everyone’s special, no one is.” –Syndrome, The Incredibles
I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately and specifically how it captures the spirit of a recent trend: the need to out-special everyone around us.
I see it everywhere, as people take on more and more labels that separate them from “normal” society, ranging from reasonable to completely fabricated, wearing them like badges of honor.
I used to do this too, but as I’ve experienced more of life and people, I’ve taken on an increasingly “who cares?” worldview about it all.
At the end of the day, we are all just chunks of incarnated spirit, and we will succeed or fail based only on how we take care of that.
We work so hard to prove to people and to ourselves how great we are but deep down we suspect that we are actually uninteresting and useless. We are afraid of being basic.
The thing is, though, we can’t truly know who we are inside until we strip off all our decorations and disclaimers. When we do, we’ll find that, while our core really is small and quiet, it holds more life than anything we tried to cover it up with.
It’s acceptance of that core that resonates with other people, and it’s that acceptance that allows us to love and enjoy ourselves.