Participation trophies, snowflakes, and the cult of the special has come under criticism. I’m in agreement that the criticism is well deserved. Life does not work this way. In our jobs in our personal lives we stack rank everything from most creative to best looking to richest.
Logically everyone knows: If EVERYONE is special, then NO ONE is special. The meaning of special is set apart, different, or unique. There is no way to have shades or varying degrees of special, it is analog.
Today for the first time I was able to hear something behind the movement (or cult) of special. My hope is that what people are trying to say is people are valuable. EVERYONE is valuable. We don’t wander into fallacies with that statement, and it gets to the heart of the matter.
Zappos is a company that I respect in many areas, and in their book “Delivering Happiness” they mentioned a practice to weed out fakers during the interview process. Headquartered in Las Vegas, the office is a pretty long trip from the airport therefore Zappos provides candidates that are interviewing a ride on their shuttle. When the person has completed their interviews and returned to the airport on the shuttle, a manager will call the shuttle driver to get the drivers perspective. As Hsieh said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2013, “It doesn’t matter how well the day of interviews went, if our shuttle driver wasn’t treated well, then we won’t hire that person.”
Make the change in your language, it is simple…those around you perhaps are not special but most surely valuable. And so are you.
The little things, I can obey. But the big things – how we think, what we value – those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone – or any society – determine those for you.