Saturday, September 24, 2011

Uniqueness Not Specialness

Teenage angst, the feeling of loneliness, frustration, sadness, and existentialism all rolled into one. Recently it has seemed to appear more in people than usual. I cannot put a finger down on what is causing it but many people, including myself, seem to be going through transitions of some sort. As a result teenage angst has been high. One of the the vital factors of angst is the feeling that one is alone and is different from everyone else. As a result no one can understand or relate to that person. Coincidentally in my English class we have been reading existentialist works of literature. The big message my teacher is trying to teach us is that we are not special as human beings, but that we can be unique. I think this might be a cause of the angst.

As humans we for the most part want to feel different. We want to think we are better than everyone else is some area and therefore we stand out from the crowd, or become special. I think this is what causes teenage angst. The revelation that we are not special. We do not want to accept that we are just one out of 7 billion people out of 8 planets (Pluto is not one anymore) out of countless universes and galaxies. We are just a grain of sand on a universal scale. I think this helps cause teenage angst. It is caused by the brain unconsciously not wanting to accept that one is just another person. It does not want to think that its problems are universal. In a way it makes a person feel like they have conformed and lost their individuality. They want to feel like a person, not a crowd. Therefore they get angst, making them feel like they are separate from the crowd. It is when someone realizes that everyone has felt the way they do at some point of time do they transcend the unconscious and accept the fact that are not special.

However just because we are not special does not mean we are not unique. This is what makes us individuals. Special means something is better, while unique means something is one of a kind. As humans a person is one of a kind. There will be only one of a specific person (until cloning becomes a thing).  People need to accept the fact that although we are not special, that does not mean we just blend in with the crowd. It might seem contradictory but there is a difference. Be yourself and love yourself for that. However frustration and loneliness are universal feelings everyone has felt. Though you might feel edgy, cool, and different for thinking you are alone, you will only stay there. One must move past it to gain the true uniqueness they desire. I do not think this is the only reason people get angst, but one that most people do not seem to think about.

-Brandon

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