We’re All Special

Jennifer Buss

You are special. You are one of a kind. No one else is just like you. Just like no two snowflakes are the same, you are unique. We hear these cliché statements all the time, yet we all try to be just like everyone else. We should cherish our individuality. It’s time we start recognizing the whole truth in these statements, and not just to make ourselves feel good. Each of us has a very different personality, unique physical identifiers, and even more microscopic diversity within our bodies. Humans (and all life forms) have such diversity such that no two are exactly the same. Each person has different life experiences that play into their personality and perception on reality.

The genetic diversity evidence alone indicates that every human is unique based on not only their DNA sequence, but also the environment that they encounter from birth. Every experience of our lives thus changes our bodies and minds in ways that are quantifiable. As we develop, our brains form their own networks and pathways so that identical twins don’t even have the same brain structure. It is because of their unique experience in life that makes identical twins different human beings. The anatomical differences in their brains are just one of many key factors that make identical twins, well, not identical. We should cherish this difference! The individuality is what we are proud of, not being the same as everyone else.

These differences are what make us people, and make us special. In the medical world, we are hardly treated as individuals. Rather, we are treated as a demographic of people. My heart rate, blood pressure, etc. are probably not the same for all people of my demographic, and I should not be treated according to that average. I should be treated according to my own averages. But doctors from the very beginning follow growth charts for infants and parents feel their child needs to meet the standard criteria to be accepted in society. My intellect does not need to be “on par” with any certain group of people – I have a certain knowledge base from the experiences I have had in my life. The life experiences I try to communicate with other people are probably not thoroughly understood because other people don’t have all the same experiences as me to know how I felt or what I was thinking. Even when I share my feelings and emotions with someone else, it’s incomplete because they don’t have all the background that I have to fully grasp where I am coming from.

Each of us has a unique set of experiences and emotions and knowledge and biology to make us who we are. We should be proud of our individuality and be recognized for being one person, not part of the group. Each of us should be judged against ourselves, not compared to other people.

In our social circles, we are too quick to revert to being like everyone else, not an individual. It is in this social environment that we begin stereotyping and classifying groups of people that, when you really think about it, are not true at all. Each person in that group is not like any of the other people there. We could classify them hundreds of different ways so the one way that we’re choosing to classify them today is a misnomer. We’re all individuals, coming from different life experiences and knowledge sets, living in this world together.

It isn’t about me versus you, or us versus them. No one is like anyone else on this planet. We are not the same and should stop trying to categorize everyone as being just like other people. Just like mamma always said, You Are Special.

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