None of Us is Special

Does it offend to be told that you are not special? Would it comfort to know that none of us are?

As Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both. They were absorbed alike into the life force of the world, or dissolved alike into atoms.”

We are not spared by any notion of privilege. We are equally human.

We are all equally human. That's all.

Should we dismantle all illusions of importance, take away all possessions, all manner of adornment, and all semblance of class – what are we left with? Only our minds, our bodies, and our relationships with one another.

All are born into the world fragile, helpless and weak. All will meet the same realization when we stand on the doorstep of death. Interesting, how we are taken aback when someone of celebrity or power passes away. Quietly, we think their status or wealth would spare them.

But no. In the end, none of us are special.

This realization of being equally human ought to bring humility. When we rightly see ourselves lower, we see others higher.

Rather than seeking to be treated exceptionally, we can strive to make others to feel important. When life grants us status or recognition, however it is acquired or earned, the way we make people feel around us speaks to how we view ourselves.

"The happiness of those who want to be popular depends on others; the happiness of those who seek pleasure fluctuates with moods outside their control; but the happiness of the wise grows out of their own free acts."
— Marcus Aurelius