The grainy, stained “Kodacolor” photograph depicted three people standing together facing the Sun for the photographer. I don’t know the identities of any of the subjects, perhaps they were acquaintances of my parents. I did recognize the type of automobile they had used as a background prop. It was a 1962 Buick Special four-door sedan. The car was sold as the compact, low-priced Buick model that year.
My wandering mind began contemplating the word “special”. As is the case with the compact Buick, special refers to lower price. When we shop for necessities, we might skim advertising in search of store specials as in merchandise being marketed at a lower price than the suggested retail price. At the local diner we may wish to order the Wednesday Blue Plate Special. In other words, special denotes good value for the money. Special is not top of the line, but it implies the item has quality that is budget friendly.
Mom used to bake special green decorated cakes for dad’s birthdays because his birthday was near St. Patrick’s Day. She used to bake special devil’s food chocolate cakes to help celebrate my birthdays. The cakes were instrumental in helping us form fond memories to enjoy years later. I always associate green cakes and devil’s food cakes with birthdays.
We use the word “special” when providing school classes or events for differently-abled people. The Special Olympics comes to mind. It’s a friendly, compassionate sporting event to allow the participants to feel recognition and praise. The event gives the competitors a chance to show their best efforts and to pursue their dreams. I recommend attending a Special Olympics sanctioned event if you enjoy seeing people trying their very best.
“Don’t ever doubt yourselves or waste a second of your life. It’s too short, and you’re too special.”–actress and singer, Ariana Grande
Don’t we all feel unique? We know that there will never be another person on Earth who will be precisely like us. Nobody else will have the same childhood with the same parents, hometown, school, workplaces, nor combination of friends and fun times. Nobody else will perceive reality in exactly the same manner as us. We have a sense of specialness that comes about from the sense that we can never completely share the deep-down truths of who we truly are. Nobody else can experience the world exactly the way we do. Contemplating this can make a person understand the meaning of profound solitude.
We can feel special without crossing the line into narcissism. All one has to do is determine that one, particular talent that distinguishes you from everyone else. Through passion, practice, and determination your individual dream could come true. There’s a certain satisfaction that occurs when you do this. You become more distinctively yourself when you allow your true self to shine through your efforts. We restrict the narcissistic temptation when, we remember that we are less special than we imagine. We discover that we have qualities that others also relate to.
Each one of us has a certain quality or aspect that makes us particularly special. Too often we try to hide, or camouflage it. Perhaps we were taught that our particular way of living in the world is somehow bad or unacceptable. By letting go of other people’s expectations then allowing your true nature to shine through, you become more confident in being yourself. When you do this, your unique, special way of living and contributing to the world unfolds naturally.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor, Jason Momoa. “Anyone who spends time on the road knows there’s something special about being in the middle of Utah or Nebraska–you sit with it, and there’s a peace about it. You can go left or right, and it opens up all kinds of doors. You take your own path.”