By Chad McCoy, Staff Therapist
Ever been stuck in traffic, the kind where every driver is an idiot and can be blamed for you being late? Well, I found myself in such a jam the other day.
As I scoured the sea of vanity license plates and various bumper stickers, I came across one that left me a bit dumbfounded. Right before me was a sticker on the rear of a car that read, “King Karsten’s Mother,” in glittered gold letters for all to see. “Ah, apparently a proud parent,” I proclaimed to my wife with such a heaviness of cynicism I had to activate the defroster to clear the fogged windows. I did not know of this “King Karsten”, but I couldn’t help but wonder: What has he accomplished?“King Karsten,” that’s quite a title to uphold! What if he isn’t the caliber of “King” but rather that of a peasant? Talk about an identity crisis! Think about the impact of being told that you are more special than others, and praised as such, for even the simplest tasks. This type of over-inflated self-worth may lead to some, how I put this, not so kind realizations.
Of course your child is important and deserves recognition for his or her special traits. Each child is unique and one of a kind. Being unique isn’t necessarily good or something that makes a person special. We know that each set of finger prints is unique. Who is to say which finger prints are special? Maybe it’s not just WHO we are but also WHAT we do that makes us special.
Ashton Kutcher accepted his 2013 Kid’s Choice Award and made some wonderful statements to young people. He told kids that opportunity disguises itself as hard work. He said that no one is special because of his name or just by being himself. Rather, it is the character and efforts of a person and his or her accomplishments that make him special and these often have no relationship to money or fame. Ashton stated, “I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky enough to have a job.” Have you ever heard your teen, or even yourself, saying that you wouldn’t be caught dead working at _________? Are we really better than that job at ________? Does that in turn mean that we’re better than the people working at _______?
The opportunities that present themselves as hard work can really create a situation where you can truly be special. As one in 7,000,000,000 people on this planet, it is good that we have the hope that our uniqueness and our efforts can separate us from the pack and turn our lives into something truly special. Congratulations on your mediocrity! www.edmondfamilycounseling.org