Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There's Only One.

This is what I have to look at every time I go to my fridge.
And I grind my teeth and contemplate throwing it away.

I hate so much about this saying. Its offensive to me. It goes against everything that I've learned as I've matured and progressed. Instead of celebrating the out of the ordinary that makes each of us remarkable, it makes them insignificant. You're unique - JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. What a horrible little catch phrase. It really means that your differences between the next person mean nothing. Therefore everything that makes you YOU means nothing. Therefore you mean nothing. Just another faceless person in a crowd. It calls for you to treat one person interchangeably with the next, because individual people dont matter. I dont know who in their right mind thought this was inspirational. How depressing. It brings back the feelings of Junior high, when everyone wants to disguise their differences to blend in. Because standing in a crowd and being invisible is easier than standing in a spot light (tho I do concede that the spot light has its full share of obstacles - but FYI worth it). But the older I've gotten the more I appreciate that not everyone is the same. I believe so much in being an individual and this phrase puts to shame everything that individuality stands for. Since when has being the exact carbon copy replica of someone else ever been a good thing? Since when do you categorize someone's uniqueness into the "different" category and call it the same as someone else's? People should be valued for their distinctiveness - not stamped with a "UNIQUE" stamp and put in a row behind all the other "unique" people. 

I've had this exact phrase used on me; to tell me I'm not special, I dont matter, and that when it comes right down to it, I'm completely and utterly replaceable (and for that person I was all of those things). This phrase turns something that should be treasured (our being one of a kind), into just another run of the mill thing. "Oh there's an individual, oh and another one. Weird how all the individuals look the same." I hate it. I think it fosters exactly the wrong mentality about people. Individuals matters. One person isnt just like another person; no matter their similarities. And each person offers something new and fresh to the world. We need differences between people - because there are different roles that need to be fulfilled. The most admired individuals in history (Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Florence Nightingale - just to name a few) are admired because they stood out, and gave the world something that no one else could offer. Their individuality lead to new ideas, new inventions, new ways of thinking. Imagine if they had decided that sure, they were different, but their differences were unimportant; would they have contributed what they did if they thought that their contributions were irrelevant? I would never dare to say that each of my brothers is the exact same person - and thats what this saying does. Except on a much wider scale. It takes the emphasis off people and I'll say it again - People matter. Sure not every single person will matter to you personally, but each person in their own right matters. Its the whole point of individual rights. 

I admit, sometimes I forget this or am arrogant about my own one-of-a-kind-ness. And I realize that's the wrong attitude to have.  "your uniqueness (doesnt) exempt you from emotional and social responsibility". I dont get to do whatever the hell I want just because I'm an Individual. I mean I could, but it'd be pretty darn selfish and possibly infringe on the individual rights of someone else. Because my individuality (no matter how much it may mean to me) isnt more important than someone else's. Sure, everyone is unique. But that doesnt make them (individually) any less important. Nor does it give me the right to treat them as such.

So no, I dont think you're unique, just like everyone else. You're unique, like no one else.    

1 comment:

.Ang. said...

I couldn't have said it any better!