The Dangerous Pit of Uniqueness

“You’re one in a million. Which of course means there are over 6,000 people just like you”.

I haven’t a clue the source of that quote (nor the ones that are similar), but I love how it puts us in our place. Most Americans want to be unique…even more than we want to be awesome. We don’t care what makes us unique or famous, so long as we are so. Twenge and Campbell in their book, The Narcissim Epidemic, highlight this trend:

We are a nation fixated on the idea of being the exception to the rule, standing out, and being better than others—in other words, on being special and narcissistic—and we’re so surrounded by this ethos that we find it shocking that anyone would question it. Fish don’t realize they’re in water.

We’ve been told for years that we are special. The cartoons I watched as a child never failed in reminding me of my uniqueness. I was reassured that I could be anything I wanted to be. I easily recall lessons learned in school (and even church) about snowflakes and fingerprints to help me celebrate my uniqueness. That’s not all bad—it’s good for a person to know that God has knitted them together in their mother’s womb and that He has done so with precision and intention. That’s a good thing. But when this good thing is hi-jacked by our self-worshiping hearts our uniqueness becomes a great tool for our destruction.

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