The Cult of Self

You are not special.

I know this sounds mean, but it’s not. It’s just true, and life gets better when you get used to it.

If you’re a hero, some sort of chosen one, then it’s entirely your fault when people die across the world. When your teacher or manager is talking to your group, they’re all waiting for you to respond. Your opinion, your experiences are all that matters and you are completely incapable of learning anything of value from anyone else.

If you are special, you are utterly alone in a world of automata and animals.

So it’s a good thing you don’t matter.

I don’t know if it’s an American thing, part of our culture of materialism and individuality, or if its just a human thing, but I feel like we’re all raised into this religion, this cult of self. We’re asked who our heroes are and made to compare ourselves to historical figures. As if we’re all going down in history books.

People who go down in history books aren’t special either. They, like you, just do what they have to do. They be the best versions of themselves they can imagine, and end up “great” only if that’s the only way they know how to feel okay.

But I don’t think being ordinary means you can’t have lofty goals.  It just means you don’t innately deserve to achieve them.

I want to write books, make movies, fight crime, maybe be president one day, and I’m not kidding about at least three of those. I can’t help that those are the things I want, just as much as I can’t help that if I do any of them well enough, I might get famous. And, ordinary and unimportant as I am, it really doesn’t matter if I pursue any or all of those goals with all of my being.

Nothing is promised to me or to anyone, and we’re all in pretty much the same boat, and I think that’s a pretty special thing.


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