The Evolving Monkey

Are you special? And does thinking you are destroy your life?

  • First answer.
    • No and yes.
    • But the answer can also be: yes and no.
    • It depends on what you mean by "special".
  • You are not special.
    • In almost all possible ways, this is true.
    • No one, including you and me, are special.
    • We, you, are no more special than the squirrel in the backyard, or the rock in the ground, or the ground itself.
    • This does not mean you and I do not matter, we do, only that we are not special.
    • The squirrel, rock and ground also matter, but are not special.
    • On a universal scale, nothing is special.
Mother holding baby
  • Believing yourself to be special, destroys.
    • It destroys your life, the life of others, and our world.
    • The perception of specialness creates unrealistic expectations.
    • We destroy ourselves, in small and big ways, trying to fulfill those expectations.
    • Trying to fulfill unrealistic expectations creates chaos for you and those around you.
    • Unrealistic expectations causes you to devalue others and the world to fulfill those expectations.
  • What is a realistic expectation?
    • A realistic expectation does not have to be achieved.
    • A realistic expectation is open ended and can change as is necessary.
    • A realistic expectation can be achieved, perhaps with hard work and a lot of time, without leaving you mentally exhausted or frantic.
    • A realistic expectation is not about ego and proving yourself as better than others.
  • Yet, for all that, you and I and all humans are special.
    • We are special to each other because we are all humans.
    • You are special to you because you are you.
    • You are special to your family because you are family.
    • You are special to friends because they like you.
    • Friends and family are special to you because they are friends and family.
    • On a universal scale we are special because everything in the universe is special in it’s own way.
  • Believing in the specialness of all things is creative.
    • It promotes respect.
    • It deters judging.
    • It reduces stress.
    • It makes you feel okay knowing your hopes and wishes may not all come true or be possible.
  • You are special, but so is everyone else.
    • Don’t forget it.

If your ego starts out, ‘I am important, I am big, I am special,’ you’re in for some disappointments when you look around at what we’ve discovered about the universe. No, you’re not big. No, you’re not. You’re small in time and in space. And you have this frail vessel called the human body that’s limited on Earth.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

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