You are not a unique and beautiful snowflake

As hopefully many of you, delightful readers will know, this is a line from the movie/book “Fight Club“.

This film and several of the contents/topics of it has come up a few times in the past week or so and I find it interesting that in completely separate instances it’s been mentioned. In one conversation, we were talking about a book that Ive begun reading about a man that was sick of over-consumption. The sheer amounts of stuff this man and his family collected was inhibiting his actual life. I’ve not gotten to this part yet, but apparently he offloaded most of his worldly possessions to regain some perspective. Of course the Fight Club reference is the scene where Ed Norton’s monologue is about his insomnia and goes on about infomercials and catalog browsing to buy the perfect life.

I find this particularly interesting because while I think things are fancy, nice and generally useful, there are very few things that I NEED in this world. In the spirit of honesty, I would like to confess however, that I am lusting after a set of black out curtains for this massive window in my bedroom because, let’s face it, I don’t want to wake up at dawn because my room is like a freaking spotlight. This “need”, is purely utilitarian, but the ones that I want will “have” to be stylish and match the other curtain in the room. Anyway, the notion of “need” in this society is entirely warped. I’m sorry, but absolutely nobody needs a $90 set of basic silverware from a high end retailer in a fancy, expensive mall. You eat with it. Pretty basic. 12 pieces of flatware are nowhere near that important. But the point to this is that somehow WHERE you get something is equally important to WHAT you get and WHO you’re showing off for.

That’s what all this is about, isn’t it? Being able to say how much you spent at what disgustingly overpriced store? The only reason I stepped foot into that place was because I was given a gift card as a housewarming gift from my realtor. The amount, while exceptionally generous in my opinion, could literally only buy a few little trinkets. Anything useful, it wouldn’t even dent it. I mean, for a piece of actual furniture, is at minimum in the $1000 range.

My personal mantra about “stuff” is simple. If I don’t need it for some reason, whether it’s a serious need or a perceived one, I don’t buy it. While shopping I try to make lists so that I don’t get distracted and frequently, I’ll walk around the store for a while holding the possible purchase, only to decide that I don’t need it and put it back. I’m not a fan of stuff that doesn’t serve a real purpose, which is likely the reason the house is quite minimal. You’d never guess that it’s “minimal” if you saw my desk, but almost all that stuff is papers of some kind. (Mostly school stuff)

The other conversation I had was about the title of this blog, being a unique and beautiful snowflake. This, in my opinion, is a direct correlation to why the younger generation might be one of the most technically savvy in human history, they are also the most socially awkward and ill prepared for reality, that has ever existed. Because we have spent so many years showing kids that they are comfortable and focusing so much on their feelings and emotional development… we have lost the sense of responsibility to create mature, functioning adults.

What I mean by this is that kids feel “entitled” in this day and age. If they don’t get what they want on a silver platter without so much as being forced to get off the couch/ computer/ tv to get it, they throw a fit or have a complete emotional meltdown. I’m sorry but this doesn’t exactly scream “I’m ready for reality” in our youth. I come from a generation where we played outside, climbed trees, built forts, stepped on rusty nails, played baseball without the right equipment and survived. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come close to death just being a kid… but I’ve noticed that this phrase isn’t even applicable anymore. “Being a kid” these days is really living indoors on some sort of technology, not using your imagination or being creative outside the parameters of your plastic toys.

This, coupled with the entitlement issues, makes for an inadequate population. Kids grow up without social skills needed to do things, like get a good job, make sacrifices necessary to get “ahead” in career/ life roles. Nobody, in general, understands that life is riddled with extreme sacrifices, requires massive amounts of dedication and hard work, and is rife with disappointment. You can let these obstacles break you or you can let them shape you into a better person. It’s your choice. And yes, it is absolutely a choice. Life is suffering, you can choose to roll over and die or you can embrace it and grow.

All of my sopaboxing above does have a point. It even pertains to happiness and Right Speech. If you cannot roll with the punches, and believe me, the hits just keep coming for most of us… you will be miserable. Happiness is not an outward state of consumption or coddling. It’s a state of being within your self. Your ability to be at peace with the world is directly linked to that internal happiness (you know, the happiness that “stuff” can’t buy) and your feelings of self worth. Having a healthy understanding of true happiness and reality will lead you to real satisfaction. And these things are all wound up in Right Speech because I find it incredibly difficult to hold my tongue, be encouraging and positive when I see people who cannot be useful humans. They need tough love, if for no other reason, because the world IS A TOUGH PLACE. It’s not getting easier. Stand up and be strong or wither away… the choice to be happy and productive is yours and yours alone.





~ by wendemachete on June 24, 2012.

2 Responses to “You are not a unique and beautiful snowflake”

  1. Nicely said…very nice, and so true

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