Merriam-Webster defines “human” as (a: having human form or attributes b: susceptible to or representative of the sympathies and frailties of human nature. As for me, I’m guilty on all counts. I guess I share this with all Homo sapiens, the only extant members of Hominina clade, a branch of the taxonimical tribe Hominini belonging to the family of great apes. But, that’s where all similarity ends.
We are all different. Unless you shared my parents DNA nine months before June 23, 1946, you are not me. I grew up with the platitude “what makes us different makes us special.” Mularkey. What makes us different just makes us different. What makes us special is not where we begin, it is where we end up.
We all start our life in different circumstances. Some of us begin our life journey in relative comfort; others in relative obscurity. Some of us have great parents while others are not so fortunate. Some have clear vision of life’s promise at an early age and others swirl in a whirlpool of pre pubescence for a couple of years trying to figure out why we get out of bed in the morning. These are not differences to celebrate.
Since we begin our journey in different places, where we end up is the only true metric of what makes us special. This specialness is derived from the product of our internal motivation and our tenacity, our aspirations and our work ethic. It is in these traits enabled by our humanness, the power to overcome our frailties that is truly worthy of celebration and the title of special.
I am human. And if my sense of dignity in accomplishment against what turned out to be surmountable obstacles is any indication, I am special. How about you?