Recently a colleague was voicing some frustrations. He works in an environment where most people he works with are some sort of expert. He finds himself frustrated when folks he works with don’t know things that he considers to be “basic”.
So I asked him if he thinks he is special.
“No. Do you think you’re special?”
I told him I believe there is no one more special than I am. My specialness is something I get to share with other people. If I don’t believe I am special, I wouldn’t really expect anyone else to think I am either.
I reminded him that no one he works with knows the things that he knows, or knows them the way he knows them. He has access to certain knowledge and understanding of things that his other colleagues do not.
Working in academic environments with academics who are more regularly recognized for what they know, we sometimes forget that our knowledge, and how we apply it, is special. We are special.
Realizing one’s specialness is a problem of becoming. Once you realize that you are special, you can become anything.
I told my friend, be special.